the final frontier. Clank is Brendan Duggan’s ongoing mission to
explore strange new ways of space travel, to seek out unusual
materials and new sculptural concepts, to boldly go where no
artist has gone before.
fiction television shows and movies from his youth, such as Star
Trek, Star Wars and the Red Dwarf, continue to inspire Brendan in
the making of his art. “I’m looking for a rougher, more
utilitarian view than what is seen in most of the modern glossy
shows,” says Brendan who is also motivated by science fiction
authors such as Isaac Asimov, Phillip K. Dick, Ian M. Banks and
all of Brendan’s work revolves around using found objects but it
is one aspect of his work that he enjoys. “To have some object
that some unknown engineer worked on and being able to imagine it
for a new
purpose is intriguing,” remarks Brendan.
the engineering behind machinery and architecture has been a
life-long obsession,” Brendan reveals. “I enjoy trying to
figure out how and why someone has engineered an object in a
certain way.” This fascination is carried into his studio
as Brendan enjoys the problem solving nature of his work. “Every
time I step in the studio, I look forward to having an issue to
resolve and more to arise,” says the artist who also likes
playing hockey and chess.
with metal and using found objects presents Brendan with many
physical and technical challenges. “For me, the initial idea is
the main thing,” Brendan explains. “My sketch books bring me
more joy than the finished work. I’ve always drawn pictures and
I can photographically remember drawing pictures as young as five
years old. It’s interesting to go back through them and see what
I’m still working with, what images and ideas that gets repeated
over and over.”
interest in art began during high school. He then went on to study
at the Ontario College of Art but the experience wasn’t what he
expected so he took some time off, returning to his studies at the
Toronto School of Art where he earned a diploma. At first, Brendan
thought he would become a painter but it wasn’t until completing
a few early sculptures that something clicked about holding a
finished object. A job in a welding shop then taught Brendan the
skills of a metalworker.
create his sculptures, Brendan uses a variety of metal working
techniques along with a few blacksmithing “tricks” he prefers
to keep as trade secrets. The
sculptures and drawings in Clank are a fleet of spaceships that
include an energy tanker, war ships and ground vehicles.
hopes that visitors to his exhibition will have more questions
than the exhibition answers. “I certainly do after thinking
about and making this work.”
opens with a public reception on Saturday, June 23 from 1pm until
4pm. The exhibition continues at the Chapel Gallery until July 14.