Introducing Brent Comber June 12 2014
We're grateful to call Brent a long time friend. When we first met him just over 10 years ago, we were selling his beautiful solid wood, sculpted stools and benches from the Inform showroom floor. Like his pieces, Brent is a big, gentle presence. In my opinion, he's the Godfather of the chunks of wood you can now find in many mainstream offerings. He was the original. To us, Brent is an integral part of the Vancouver woodworking community. We're honoured to have him participate in our show and look forward to having him here on Tuesday.
What's his story?"If I were to sum up exactly what my work means to me, it would be that it reflects a deep connection to – and a love of – ‘place’. I’m the fourth generation of my family to make my home in North Vancouver, a city nestled between the forested slopes of the Coast Mountains and one of the West Coast’s busiest harbours. Originally starting as a landscape gardener, this is where and how I learned about the importance of patience, cycles, soil and hard work. Through my hands, it helped me to see how I am drawn to certain materials and how they can reveal that sense of place.
Place is not always a physical location: it might be a moment in time; it could be an experience; it could be something deep within me that I don’t yet fully understand. That’s why materiality is important in my life. For now, wood is my choice of material to convey my desire to talk about the magic of place – it offers a tactile way to take people back to their childhood, to feel stability in their life or to slow down. It’s about soulfulness, connectedness, authenticity.
It’s that natural authenticity that launched my artistic career. Wanting to renovate my first home, I started to scour for older wood inside a derelict shipyard, which happened to be where my grandfather used to drive the streetcar and carry its workers to their jobs. Through the material, I had an overwhelming mental image of him – a sense of who he was and what shaped him – and I felt it brought back the realities of where we all come from. We’re on the edge of a boreal forest here, but globally this is a material that can connect everyone to the dimension of time. Add in the large scale of my work, and that gives it a sense of permanence, a sense of connection for us all to tell our stories."
Tuesday. June 17th