Heavy metal moose

Jonathan Parsons
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Artist crafts steel sculpture in Port Rexton

It’s a common hazard to see a moose while travelling route 230 on the Bonavista Peninsula. These days, you can catch a glimpse of a moose of a quite different makeup that’s not quite as dangerous.
At Fishers’ Loft in Port Rexton, artist Christina Nick is crafting a moose sculpture entirely out of steel.

This moose sculpture, being crafted out of metal by artist Christina Nick, will stand at Fishers’ Loft in Port Rexton when it is completed. — Photo by Jonathan Parsons/The Packet

Nick is a world-travelled artist whose journeys have brought her to Newfoundland on several different occasions. On one such occasion she found herself at Fishers’ Loft in Port Rexton and met the proprietors, John and Peggy Fisher.

“I came to Newfoundland for the first time in 2004 to work at a foundry in Pouch Cove,” recalled Nick. “I travelled around. ... I was guiding a walking trip with Butterfield and Robinson and we stayed (at Fishers’ Loft) and I’ve been through here probably five or six times (since then).”

It was her discussions with the Fishers that made her decide to make the sculpture.

“Me and Peggy and John started talking and they’re really interested in art, mixing business with the arts, and we talked about me coming back to build a moose,” she said.

Nick was supposed to start her project quite a while ago, but unfortunate factors prevented her from starting until now.

“It’s kind of a funny story. It was four years ago, and the idea was I would come guide a trip and I would stay an extra three weeks and work on the moose.”

Just before she left for Newfoundland, Hurricane Igor struck the Bonavista Peninsula, hitting Trinity Bight especially hard.

“We couldn’t get here at all. I never got here and it’s been four years,” said Nick.

Nick does more than sculpt with steel.

“I use a lot of mixed media, but for the most part, steel is just kind of the thing I perfected over the years. I’ve worked a lot on it. I really like mixing materials. Often I use recycled steel for the sculptures but, because of time, I couldn’t really spend a lot of time in scrap yards,” she said.”For the most part I try to use recycled materials and found objects and then add other elements. This moose is going to be welded steel with real moose antlers.”

Nick feels that sculpting the moose will help capture the place in the artwork.

“Everything I make has something to do with a sense of place and travelling. So wherever I travel, I’ll do lots of paintings, usually of the landscape and then I’ll use maps and so forth,” she said. “But then for sculpture, I found that the best way to portray a place, was to portray the animals of the area.”

She has sculpted many animals in many places, out of many materials, but this is only the second moose she has done.

“The other one is in Squamish, B.C.,” she said.

She will finish the moose before she leaves on May 26. The moose will then be displayed at Fishers’ Loft for all to see.

“This will be part of the art exhibit. It will be standing over the labyrinth that was built last year,” she said.

“It will be overlooking the labyrinth and (John and Peggy) thought that would tell a nice story.

“They’re organizing school trips to come here and take a look at the moose.

“It’s going to be good for everyone, and really great for me. It’s so beautiful here, and it’s nice to come back.”

Nick said after she leaves Port Rexton she will head to Europe and continue other projects she is working on.

“I’m going to France. I have an art studio in France. I’m getting ready for a show next year, May 2015.”

The Packet

Geographic location: Port Rexton, Newfoundland, Pouch Cove France Squamish Europe

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