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Dale Roberts, Sculptor and Studio Tour: It’s Not Fair!

Carollyne Yardley and Dale Roberts

Carollyne Yardley and Dale Roberts

I visited the studio of artist Dale Roberts back in December 2011 (last month), and was blown away at the vast, awesomeness of it all.  His studio is a combination of museum and gallery sculpture /artworks, and a festival of photos and fashion sure to be coveted by the Glitterati.

Carollyne Yardley as Green Bun Squirrel and painting in background.

Carollyne Yardley as Green Bun Squirrel and painting in background.

With multiple interconnected rooms, there are many wonderous themes.  The entranceway to his studio/museum introduces his passion for the mail art project called Dame Mailarta’s CorresponDance of Mail Art Exchanges and even more famously, Dame’s Portrait Palace. I got my portrait onto the wall and was documented the same week as Carol Burnett and Ed Koch!

Trunk Art - Dale Roberts studio

Trunk Art – Dale Roberts studio

Cruising further into the lair, I came across the most amazing trunks, decorated with found objects, including an entire bible. Each page was meticulously crumpled into little balls and fitted into one whole side of a suitcase. Inside, a sculpture of Himself was positioned along with little drawers of curiosities, albums with prayer music, a fire alarm (to be used in case of emergency- duh), and a glorious sign that reads, “Caution, Prayin Ahead!” There were at least of dozen of these miniature trunk-worlds, each speaking their own poem, and singing their own song.

Caution Prayin Ahead

Caution Prayin Ahead

As we moved forward into the sculpture area, there was a piece that reminded me of work by Louise Bourgeois (American, born France, 1911-2010). She created organic, fleshy sculptures that recall the human body. In Dales’ studio, there were hundreds of  lovely organic sculptures hanging from the ceiling (I was so mesmerized, I forgot to take a photo).

Moving into the area of marble sculpture intermixed with the crocheted netting twine, I was increasingly envious of work on display, and skills in which Dale has learned and developed over the years. Studying with fishermen from his native Newfoundland, he learned how to weave netting. He  uses this skill to create a fishing net out of gold spun thread – just what everyone needs to catch a magical golden sea creature, of course!  Everything is so beautifully handcrafted and each one a priceless museum piece.

Gold Netting

Gold Netting

Woven Boat

Woven Boat

We then ducked through an arch of glitter and glam, and entered into my favorite room of all – with the Ken Wall.

This is where I finally exclaimed, “It’s Not Fair!”

According to reports, during a visit in which Liz Hurley visited the home of Elton John, she apparently looked around and said, “It’s Not Fair!  I felt the same twinge of envy at being surrounded by such an organized, and delectable  feast for the eyes. I want a studio/museum like Dale Roberts! WAAAAA!

THE KEN WALL!

THE KEN WALL!

We continued through a variety of themed rooms, and passed through groupings of collectibles such as Donald Duck toys, Elvis Presley records, pop culture books, games, hats, a photo of Apollo played by Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica, (although to be honest I LOVED the womanizing, and cigar-smoking, Starbuck character played by Dirk Benedict).

Richard Hatch as Apollo from Battlestar Galactica

Richard Hatch as Apollo from Battlestar Galactica

Needless to say, this part of the museum tour took me back in time, and allowed me to indulge in nostalgia overload.

The final room also doubles as Dale’s office and creative juice joint which houses a giant creative table.  In this room hangs the ongoing series of crocheted Distorts sculptures. As a number of these have gone on to private collections in the years since this project began, Dale is now creatng the “cousins” to those that are in other parts of the world. The final installation will display all 222 sculptures.

Distorts - Dale Roberts Sculptor

Distorts – Dale Roberts Sculptor

Well, I was out of breath and hugs by the time I left my first visit to the absolutely fabulous Dale Roberts studio.  I am packing a lunch next time, and have asked if I can bring friends. This is an experience that needs to be shared.
THANK YOU DALE!!!

Dale Roberts studio

Dale Roberts studio

2 Comments

  1. Fantastic tribute to a fellow Victoria artist. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Anita — February 10, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

  2. Thanks Anita – you must visit Dales studio if you haven’t already. Let me know if you need contact info!
    xo

    Comment by carollyne — February 10, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

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