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by: Alanna Baird

The oceans are the depths from which my work has emerged. This work exploring pentaradial symmetry speaks to my mathematical and science background as well as my creative roots as a potter. An exploration of surface decoration on bronze led to a gradual removal of surface areas, exposing the negative space as a presence in itself. Leaving just enough of the surface, a partial shell, to maintain structural integrity. Through this work, I share the beauty and the fragility of our sea while giving visual voice to global concerns.

This is made from bronze, in a process called lost wax casting. It is one of a series of works in bronze that was made possible by an ArtsNB Creation Grant.

I began by making a silicone mold of a thrown ceramic pot that I had made in 1991. This mold was then used to cast copies in sculptural wax. Each wax pot was then pierced using drills and hole saws to create unique radial 5 sided symmetries (based upon the pentaradial symmetry of a sea urchin shell). I explored the patterning while discovering the strength of this new (to me) material. The completed wax was cast into bronze by a foundry in Inverness, Quebec, then returned to me for chasing (grinding of sprues and vents, cleaning of surface imperfections). Final treatment with liver of sulphur (cold) and cupric nitrate (hot) to give the copper blue surface patina and a final layer of conservators wax.

Small alanna baird Alanna Baird

Alanna Baird lives in Saint Andrews, NB where she maintains a material based artistic practice, working primarily in sculpture. She completed 3 years of Engineering (UNB) before studying Ceramics (NB Craft School - 1978).

In 2022 she was awarded the Eidlitz Award for Integration of Natural Sciences and the Arts by Sunbury Shores Arts & Nature Centre, in celebration of her work which exhibits a profound appreciation and understanding of the harmony between natural science and art.

She received the Margaret Woodson Nae Fellowship from the Sheila Hugh McKay Foundation. Alanna’s work in plastic, inspired by her residency with the Students on Ice Foundation’s 2022 Ocean Conservation Expedition was exhibited at IMPAC5 (5th International Marine Protected Areas Conference) Vancouver (2023).

Alanna won a Canadian National Sculpture Competition (2014) and has received three Arts NB Creation A grants towards new work. Alanna has had solo Canadian exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in the United States, Australia and Bermuda. Her Public Art Commissions are in Alberta, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Alanna is also an accomplished printmaker and participated in an international printmaking portfolio for exhibition at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre’s conference Altered Environments (USA 2023).

The first work she created in recycled tin was featured by the American Crafts Council in celebration of 1993, The Year of Craft in North America. Alanna’s iconic tin fish have become an invasive species scattered through private collections, globally speaking their messages of environmental concern.

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