When I first started working with polymer clay and creating figurative sculptures, my Father Christmas sculptures received a lot of attention and subsequently they became the main focus of my art. I paid my dues at Christmas gift shows and for a period of time I also designed and worked with manufacturers overseas to develop a seasonal gift line. I’ve moved in other directions over the years, but Father Christmas remains a recurring theme throughout my career.
My penchant for history and research, combined with my overall love of everything Christmas makes this one of my favourite subjects. I’m particularly drawn to the old world characters and the subtle differences influenced by culture and georgraphy. It amazes me how they all evolved from one human born in 270AD in a tiny village in Turkey. Since then, every country rooted in Christianity has adopted this character and what he stands for.
What he stands for is kindness, sharing, taking care of each other, tolerance, love and peace. The world needs this message more than ever right now.
For this reason I decided to make Father Christmas my theme at the National Capital Network of Sculptors Exhibit, DIMENSIONS 2017 – the largest, most comprehensive sculptural exhibit with over 150 original works on display and for sale.
As the director of the show, I worried about my decision to show these sculptures with the fear that they would be viewed as more crafty than fine art. Dealing with artist insecurity will have to be the topic of a whole other blog post. In the meantime, with some encouragement from my friends and colleagues, this year I will be showing 4 of my old world Father Christmas figures and I will also be giving a presentation on the History of Father Christmas. I assembled the research I’ve done into a book that tells the story of the evolution of St. Nicholas and explains some of the traditions we practice today. This 10″ x 10″ hard cover book accompanies each original Father Christmas but will also be available to purchase separately in November.
If you are in the Ottawa area, please drop in at DIMENSIONS 2017, October 19-22 in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park. It’s free admission. If you would like more information on my Father Christmas collection or would like to pre-order The History of Father Christmas, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org