Meet Gerda Lattey -Again
Gerda was in the spotlight for the first time in the fall of 2007. You will see that her work has changed in the last six years.
What is your life history as it relates to being an artist?
I'm essentially a self-taught artist and started carving stone by accident. It seems to be what I do now.
Why did you become an artist?
We've been batting it out for quite some time, art and me, and I've tried quite hard not to become an artist. There comes a point where it simply just is what you do. I do think
being married to it has made me a better sculptor. There is something about the act of giving over to the truth of what you do and who you are that allows for greater freedom of expression.
What key life experiences affected your direction in art?
It's hard to know whether the art thing is innate or not. It's possible that an alternative childhood coupled with a physical need for expression and challenge with focus funnelled me into carving stone. In terms of the type or style of art I do --- I do what I find interesting and at this juncture, abstract concepts are the most curious to me. It's possible that could change. I'm not a very still person.
Who or what has influenced your art form?
I'm primarily influenced by the material, my surroundings, and the tool-set that is available.
How does your art reflect your philosophy?
I'm a restless, playful person. My art pushes personal boundaries, aesthetics of material and design. I'm interested in the exploration of new ideas.
How has NWSSA influenced your work as an artist?
The group, as a whole, is an extremely generous and rare one. NWSSA provides a house for this artform which, I believe, helps artists find a place to belong. It's nice to spend a few times a year laughing and supporting one another, whether it's through mentorship or friendship, or both.
How do you get your ideas?
Ideas are imposed by my surroundings. I'm never sure where they come from exactly, but I think it's permission to explore those ideas, either physically or mentally, that is important, or more relevant, in the process of making art.
How do you develop them (by direct carving, drawing, modeling, etc.)?
I predominately employ the direct-carve method- ie: drawing on the stone first and then carving directly into it but I also will draw something up first if it's commission based. I find the two different methods create very different forms.
What is the major theme or intent of your art?
As an artist, I'm not particularly thematic. If there is a constant, it is that I'm always trying new things.
Do you work part or full time as an artist?
Mostly full-time. Although, I'm not getting any wealthier by doing this.
What stones do you prefer?
I'm really loving working with basalt lately but when I work with other stones, like marble or granite, I enjoy them as well.
What is your working process – do you do one piece at a time or do you have several in process at once?
I prefer to work with many pieces (ideas) at the same time because I find it's a little easier on the body that way. It also allows pause so one can fully commit to an idea.
What tools do you use?
I usually start of with the ring-saw or chainsaw, then it's the grinder and/or core drill, followed with a cup wheel and die-grinder with mounted points. Sometimes I'll elect to use the sandblaster. This is done either before or after polishing, depending on the nature of the piece.
Where do you exhibit your work?
I have a galleries in Vancouver, Penticton and SaltSpring. I also have a sculpture garden at my studio space and an Art Rep who sells some of my work and do some promotion through social media.
How much work do you complete in a year?
It varies and depends on size. I try to do 2-3 larger peices and 6-10 smaller works
Do you teach art?
I have done and would like to do more.
What scale or size do you work in, and do you have a favorite scale?
Anywhere from 20"h and up to 8' (so far). I don't have a size preference. Sometimes you get really interesting off-cuts from a larger piece which makes for really fun smaller sculptures.
How is your work area set up?
I work outside, have a 20' container that houses my tools, and a 20' wide lean-to structure with a clear corrugated roof and two 10' bays. It gets pretty cold and uncomfortable in the winter so, one day, when I'm rich and famous, I'd love to have an indoor set up.
What have been your satisfactions in your life as an artist?
To allow oneself the freedom to do and and the freedom to be is an immense privilege and that privilege informs more of the same. One might call it a creative mobius.
What obstacles and challenges have you overcome?
I'm not sure that I have overcome much. The hurtles are endless. I'm learning and I have more knowledge than before, but I don't think I'm on the other side of any mountain at this point.
What are you looking forward to (goals, commissions, new ideas, flights of fancy)?
I'd like to be more centrally located and get better at drawing and selling myself. Confidence is key.