Sculptor Scott McKay is an emerging talent on the London and area art scene. His creativity is enhanced by a strong technical background and an even stronger passion to create.
McKay’s work harkens back to the early twentieth century and European constructivist sculptors like Jacques Lipchitz, and Lázsló Moholy-Nagy. There are also semblances of welded works of the modernist period in North America by sculptors David Smith, and Herbert Ferber. More contemporary references are found in the public installation works of Albert Paley (albertpaley.com) and John Medwedeff (johnmedwedeff.com). Additionally he draws influence from the Art Deco period that he describes as being “Somewhat minimalist, in that the period conveys good feelings in a world without complexity, it’s simplifying.”
McKay began his working journey after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Biology. He’s a certified Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) and Project Manager with experience as a senior maintenance planner, having worked with some of Canada’s leading diamond mining operations in Canada including the DeBeers Victor Diamond Mine, Tahera Diamond Mine, and Ekati Diamond Mine. He also earned his Commercial Pilot license in 2002.
With the technical skills under his belt, he began looking to explore his creativity in 1997, and after returning to school he graduated with an Artist Blacksmith Certificate from the Haliburton School of The Arts, earning the Artist Blacksmith Award for Highest Mark in 2006. He’s also studied at the Ozark School of Blacksmithing under Tsur Sadan and the New England School of Metalwork under Maegan Crowley.
“I left mine work at the end of 2009 and began creating art full time in January 2010. I figured if I can work this hard for someone else, I can do this for myself,” says McKay. “Now it’s getting in front of the right people.”
McKay’s strong technical skills and abilities – “One Man, Many Hammers” – draws upon his own personal journey, drawing on many things from the past, illustrated through the use of ‘different hammers.’ His sculptures have a fluidity drawing upon values taken from a simpler, more idealistic life and how it should flow seamlessly guided by natural lines in nature like waves on water, and wind lines across a field.
His metal works exhibit a care for detail with professional finishes. His art is an extension of himself, created through personal experiences – emotional involvement at the time – with titles based on those personal experiences. There is also the occasional use of colour drawn from thoughts of red, yellow, or orange, the colours of hot metal.
“When my sculptures are painted, it masks a lot of the hand work, welds, and hammer marks. Exposed it reveals its warmth and humanistic approach. Painted elements put up a wall between viewer and process. When I’m painting these sculptures, I’m communicating a value. That value is more simplistic and revealed by the colour in its own sense. In these works, I feel that the value is more important than the process” says McKay.
McKay’s work straddles the contemporary dialogue between a simplistic modernist approach using line, form, materials, and colour - and a post-modernist dialogue of personal experiences, placing him right at the centre of contemporary discourses in today’s art making. The tension and beauty within each piece is exactly what draws viewers to McKay’s art and has made this emerging professional highly sought after and collectable.
McKay is currently a member of the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA), the International Sculpture Center (ISC), and Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC). He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions including art fairs and personal studio sales. He has been successful in securing several commissions including London Arts Council and the Canadian Epigenetics Conference 2011; Odette Sculpture Park, Windsor, Ontario; and, Superior North EMS Headquarters, Thunder Bay, Ontario. His sculptures can be seen in many public and private collections.
All Content Copyright © of Scott McKay 2006-2011