Ethan Hayes-Chute

It's been far too long since I've had time to scour the internet for artists that inspire. It has been months since I've had a chance to sit and write a post about anything, let alone spend time researching artists who tickle my peculiar taste. Yet mere hours into a relaxing internet surf session of art and architecture, I stumbled across this wholly inspiring artist.

Ethan Hayes-Chute is a young artist whose installation work is simply brilliant. He creates spaces that tell stories and imply caution. His architecture is simple, his building materials even more so. Everything has a history and once assembled, the piece feels like a memory.  Not only is his work charming in its nostalgia but it is environmentally responsible as well: everything from the floors to the objects hanging on the walls is either salvaged, reclaimed, recycled or found.

In creating these spaces Hayes-Chute has created a narrative, an implied history of the simultaneously present and absent dweller. The space is caught in medias res,  as if the home owner has just stepped out leaving his hot breakfast on the table. The viewer is left to wonder, what happened?

Beyond the immediate space, a tension sets up between the constructed room and the gallery space in which the installation is exhibited. Just as the future and the past each pull at the present so too does the question of whether this dwelling is an artifact or a premonition. Are we looking at something that was or something that may be our future?

For me, these spaces are very powerful and tie into my image of Canadian pioneers – loggers, trappers, prospectors, who settled the mountains and bush of the great white north. Looking at these spaces I imagine them tucked away in an untamed wilderness at the side of a river or in an open meadow at the base of a mountain. I imagine exiting the installation to find myself in a modern sterile space of a gallery and feeling disappointment. Perhaps the natural environment is as absent as the implied inhabitants of the dwellings.

Visit Ethan Hayes-Chute website to see more of his work.

The Hermitage 2009


Went to get Wood 2008



Shane Wilson

Shane wilson is a Canadian sculptor and carver living in the Yukon Territory. His work is incredible and beautiful and captures the Canadian spirit of wilderness in the details. Shane carves moose antler, caribou antler, muskox horn, mountain sheep horn, skull, bone, and casts bronze as well. His work is inspired by the natural beauty of Northern Canada. His piece titled Gaia is housed in the permanent art collection at Haines Junction, YT.

Shane describes his own work:

In my work I strive to slowly create something of value – something original, beautiful, meaningful and universal – an expression of the spirit of those who make the world a better, richer, more beautiful place.

Profoundly sympathetic with the emergent culture of s-l-o-w, I invite you to breathe deeply, slow down, relax and savour this slow art – my slow sculpture.


Amy Stein

Amy Stein is a brilliant photographer who has taken nature photography and turned it on it's head. Nature photography involves a certain amount of stealth and is akin to hunting in the pursuit of a good shot. Amy appropriates the kill for her own "hunt" by setting up mounted taxidermy in urban landscapes to re-create fantastical nightmares of sub-urban mothers and disturbing reflections on our impact on wilderness habitat. To engage in more horror visit her website

My photographs serve as modern dioramas of our new natural history. Within these scenes I explore our paradoxical relationship with the "wild" and how our conflicting impulses continue to evolve and alter the behavior of both humans and animals. We at once seek connection with the mystery and freedom of the natural world, yet we continually strive to tame the wild around us and compulsively control the wild within our own nature. Within my work I examine the primal issues of comfort and fear, dependence and determination, submission and dominance that play out in the physical and psychological encounters between man and the natural world. Increasingly, these encounters take place within the artificial ecotones we have constructed that act as both passage and barrier between domestic space and the wild.

The photographs in this series are constructed based on real stories from local newspapers and oral histories of intentional and random interactions between humans and animals. The narratives are set in and around Matamoras, a small town in Northeast Pennsylvania that borders a state forest. 

~ Amy Stein


 The other series of Amy's photos that I love and I wish she would expand (Amy if you're reading please please make more!) is the women and guns series. These images are fascinating to me for the cultural implications of gender, masculinity, power and expectations of gender roles within society. I also am interested in how the men interact with the women or object in the image.



Lucas Van Vugt

Dutch designer, Lucas Van Vugt has created a series of silver prosthetics to replace the broken bones of small animals. By replacing the bones he re-completes the animal hoping to revive its integrity and former glory to allow it to enter into the afterlife. The photographs of his work are as intriguing as the actual works themselves carefully staged and lighted to show off the exquisite delicacy of the tiny bones and the unexpected silver prosthetic.

This is a collection of animal figurines made from powdered animal bones. Lucas sourced roadkill in 'de Noordoostpolder' during an artist in residency on the farm of Jurgen Bey and Rianne Makkink.
Instead of letting the carcasses go to waste he decided to use the bones of three animals as a material to recreate an image of the animal the way it once was. If you ask me, that is a work of pure genius.


Lisa Black

Lisa Black has been on my radar for a while and it's taken me a while to do a post on her. I am really excited about her newest work of departed skulls.

I first learned about Lisa's work while doing research for a school project. I was really fascinated with her ability to blend machine and animal creating taxidermied versions of cyborgs. She refers to her animal hybrids often as "fixed" as if something was wrong with them or if the added mechanics somehow enhances them.

Her craftsmanship is superb and I always love having something to strive toward with my own work. The results of her hard work are assemblages of a delicate nature. Have a look for yourself and be sure to check out her website