Throughout history there have always been artists who have pushed the boundaries of art and while doing so, surrounded themselves with controversy. Some have created groundbreaking works that opened a vast array of new possibilities and ways for further growth. Others have gone in directions which might lead to a dead end. But whatever path the artist wishes to explore, it is good to have a solid base where artistic skill can be nurtured.
For the visual arts the human figure has always been an excellent subject matter to train, maintain and explore artistic skill, and furthermore it continues to be an effective tool to communicate with oneself and/or the viewer. The oldest art work ever found is a 233 000 year old carved figurine (Berekhat Ram, Golan, Israel). Today artists continue to capture the human figure using many different techniques and materials, but many of them donít get the attention they deserve.
Figureworks aims to provide an opportunity to celebrate visual art of the human form. The organization puts the spotlight on artists, their works and the life models, which are essential to nurture their creativity and whose profession is an art on itself.
As the founder of Figureworks, I invite you to be a part of this movement. It is my wish for Figureworks to be a niche for everyone who loves art involving the human figure. I am pleased to say that the human figure continues to work for me.
Hilde Lambrechts, Past President
The Figureworks competition is organized and governed by a dedicated group of volunteers.
Mark Stephenson, President
Mark is a visual and electronic artist based in Ottawa Canada. Artworks include figurative drawings and paintings as well as social installation projects that incorporate audience participation and a wider variety of media. Sometimes his art is a combination of both.
Portraiture is a common theme, the journey to capture a likeness, a feeling, an emotion and present that in a new way are Markís passions. Working from life when possible affords Mark more insights and a deeper connection to the sitter. His pursuit has him continuously pushing himself, experimenting with new materials and approaches, simplifying, layering and abstracting.
Art is very social for Mark. He likes to create amongst others, meet new people and share his passions. As a result he create a lot of his works with a public context in mind, often incorporating others into the process and installation. Ultimately he make the art for himself; itís a reflection of his observations and/or outcome of a process and deeply enjoys all the interactions and connections made along the way.
You can find out more about Mark Stephenson at his web site at www.markbstephenson.com.
Hilde Labrechts, Founder and Past President
Hilde Labrechts was born in Belgium, immigrated to the Netherlands in 1982 and subsequently to Ottawa, Canada in 2002.
Hilde received a PhD in Biology from the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands, 1993). While mainly self-taught, she started sculpting in stone in 1999. Hilde was a student at the Ottawa School of Art from 2007-2011 where she enrolled in Figure Drawing and Painting with Pamela Cockcroft-Lasserre (2007-2009) and Ceramic Sculpture with Jim Thomson (2009-2011). Inspired by my natural environment she works as a full-time visual artist in her home studio with ceramic sculpture as my main discipline since 2012, but when the kiln is on she draws the human figure predominantly with pen and ink.
Hilde's ceramics (and drawings) have been shown in both solo- and (juried) group exhibitions at commercial as well as public venues, including The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, ON. In 2013 she emerged internationally with shows at the New York Art Expo, the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art and the Florence biennale 2013. Hilde's work has been published in several international art books, in Ottawa based Guerilla Magazine, and in Fusion Magazine. In 2012 she was a finalist for the RBC-CAO Emerging Artist Award. Her work is in the collection of Global Affairs Canada as well as in private collections in Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Canada.
You can find out more about Hilde Labrechts at her web site at H-art.ca.
Sarah Marie Lacey, Volunteer
You can find out more about Sarah Marie Lacey at her web site at www.smlacyart.com.