For the first time in his decades-long career, sculptor, painter and Kolman & Pryor Gallery artist, Cameron Zebrun, a 2015 Artist Initiative grantee of the Minnesota State Arts Board, presents a collection of his singular “kayak sculptures.” The show, titled, Singular Nature, showcases a selection of work in which Zebrun uses the sleek lines and elegant curves of the kayak as a three-dimensional sculptural form. Through this form—on which he creates abstract topographies of the natural world—Zebrun explores the sense of solitude he experiences in nature and as an artist. The show opens on Saturday, February 27, 2016 with a free artist reception at 7-10 p.m. The show runs through April 9, 2016.
“I’ve been creating a kayak sculpture, one or two a year, for about 15 years,” Zebrun says. “It’s always been a dream of mine to have a whole show of the kayaks; not a retrospective or survey, but a show in which viewers can observe a sculptural idea carried through a body of work.”
An avid paddler, Zebrun adds that the kayak, “a solitary watercraft, appeals to me as an actual and metaphorical means of exploring the physical and creative journey along the many bodies of water I have traversed.” The kayak form in his sculpture, he continues, is also a “metaphor for my singular journey as an artist.”
Six feet long and meant to represent proportions similar to the human body, Zebrun’s sculptural form speaks of a human presence whose ingenuity created such a craft—whether as a tool for fishing, travel or leisure. Using watercolor and oil paint, and very thin layers of wood, Zebrun builds up topographical expressions on the kayak’s surface. Zebrun’s sculptures are landscape-based but remain abstract and almost mythical.
“When you step into a kayak on the water you step into a new world,” says Patrick K. Pryor, curator and co-owner of the Kolman & Pryor Gallery. “Cam’s kayak sculptures allow the viewer to step into the infinite cosmos and experience the passage of geologic time.”
Zebrun explains that all of his work is landscape related, but that he has a particular affinity for water. “I’m connected to bodies of water; that’s been a visual train of thought throughout my work for a long time now. Having access to the North Shore of Lake Superior and our lakes around the cities, seeing the colors and textures that exist within and at the edges of the lakes, watching the activities people do around bodies of water, and realizing how beautiful the lakes are has impacted my aesthetic for a very long time. When you see this body of work, it’ll become clear that’s a major force behind it.”
Singular Nature is funded in part by a 2015 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.