Artistic inspiration dug up in the garden

Bill Stewart talks about his sculptures made from trees and rocks during Feb. 4 talk at the Surrey Art Gallery.

Bill Stewart’s sculpture

Bill Stewart’s sculpture

Abbotsford artist Bill Stewart didn’t know that gardening would launch his artistic practice when he pulled up a weed of a young maple tree.

On Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Thursday Artist Talk series at the Surrey Art Gallery, visitors will hear Stewart talk about his fascinating art sculptures made from trees and rocks.

“Through the simple act of pulling a weed,” he says, “I observed the abundance of character that a tree’s roots possess. Those observations inspired me to cultivate trees with the intention of using them as a unique artistic medium.”

Learn what goes into the years-long process of finishing a piece, including manipulating a tree’s roots to grow around river rocks and using both fire and water.

Stewart worked in reforestation for six years, giving him the opportunity to see the trees and often exposed roots of our west coast forest. He lives on a small farm in Abbotsford where he has converted a section of a barn into a showroom where visitors are welcome. You can also see his work at www.billstewartart.com

There will be time for questions and conversation during and following the Surrey talk. The event concludes by 9 p.m.. Refreshments are provided. This event is presented by the Surrey Art Gallery Association in partnership with the Surrey Art Gallery, and with support from the Arts Council of Surrey.

The gallery is located at 13750 88 Ave. Phone 604-501-5566 for more information.