The beauty, grace and symmetry of traditional figurative sculpture has always called to me. It is my school and my obsession. My language is the figure and I feel the need to comment on the human condition, sometimes distorted by demons, and other times enchanted by all that is pure within us.
I have renewed my relationship to the human form. It has undergone a metamorphosis from silent conformity, where the rules and proportions are tantamount to a partial figure where the human condition becomes of primary importance. I want to stretch the canons of classical realism by giving beauty another voice that challenges socio-political norms.
My aesthetic ideals have evolved: solid yet ephemeral, perfection transformed into the beauty of the imperfect. I speak of spirit and courage, of heritage and of imperishable strength.
Today I challenge the traditional figure, creating a characterization of the Spirit; a metaphor to our inner world that might encourage us to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves. Consciousness, as a philosophical concept, can lead us many places, from the empirical world of the cognitive sciences to a theoretical one, where psychology attempts to provide the answers. It is my intention to reach into the 21st. century using sculpture to transcend disciplinary boundaries between the physical bodies in bronze and the self-knowledge and understanding of the ethereal realm that is our internal landscape.
Inspired by the strength of humanity, I seek a metaphor to celebrate life.
Blake Ward was born in Yellowknife in the North West Territories in Canada, then raised and educated in Edmonton, Alberta where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alberta in 1979.
In 1985 Blake moved to Paris to study under Cyril Heck with whom he learned traditional techniques of modeling figurative sculpture. When the opportunity arose for Blake to move closer to both his foundry and marble quarry, he opened his current studio in Monte Carlo in 1991.
Blake’s early work represents anatomically correct details in the clay sculptures of his live models, the first step in a “lost wax method” of production where the final rendition was either cast in bronze, or sculpted in marble.
Blake began his series of “de-sculpted” figures called “Fragments”, followed by his “Rethink” collection, after completing his teaching fellowship at the University of Hanoi in 2003
It was in Vietnam that Blake shaped his vision of the devastating, long-term effects that landmines have on people all over the world. The result was an infusion of his activism into this series of sculptures.
His latest series, The Spirits, have crossed over into the abstract. Blake creates provocative partial figures (Angels and Phantoms) that represent the expanding consciousness of our inner selves in relation to our outer changing world.
Blake’s work has been exhibited in France, Italy, Germany, England, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, the United States and Canada.