Culture & Art

May 1, 2017

SCULPTING TO MOTHER NATURE

Passionate about the natural history, fauna and flora of his beloved places, Africa and Oceania, Gordon Pembridge, is a master at the art of carving out Mother Nature. From trunks of wood are born true works of art, accessible only to the wealthiest pockets.

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Gordon Pembridge is an artist with dual nationality, Kenyan – where he was born and lived the first ten years of life – and New Zealand, where he currently resides. During the time, he lived in Kenya, he was fortunate to be able to enjoy, discover and venture into the bush and African jungles, developing a great passion for the natural history of these magical places.

He later moved to live with his family in Wanganui, New Zealand, where he attended an art school, took several design courses and chose to pursue a career in photography. Currently, professional life has led him to develop other skills, linked to graphic design, 3D design, fine arts, illustration, digital image and, of course, photography.

In New Zealand, Gordon was invaded by the immense beauty of the local nature, the unique sensation of enjoying a literally free air, where he used to engage in other activities such as hunting, fishing and diving. During his growth in such a privileged place, Gordon said «I feel as I´ve been born to love every New Zealand bush, its unique flora and fauna».

In the same way that he appreciated Mother Nature and its trees, the artist thought of wood, its value and usefulness, becoming a great appreciator of woodturning - or the art of carving wood.

He then decided to link the two passions, portraying scenes of the wild nature of Kenya he brought into his memory and from New Zealand, where he lives and continues to explore, thus giving life to impressive and unique vases made of carved wood that incorporate elements of these places natural history.

Most of the wood you use to sculpt the vases is obtained from the trees felled by storms, which he then molds with a vise. However, true magic happens when meticulously sculpting animals in incredibly detailed wildlife scenes, using only a high-speed wood engraver.

A job that he completes with the application of color. Gordon is a specialist in composition and colour assembly applied with an airbrush - an instrument used to make paintings and engravings by spraying from a source of compressed air.

His first adventure in woodturning took place in 2004 at the South Auckland Woodturners Guild, New Zealand's largest and most respected Woodturning Association, founded in 1988. It was there that Gordon developed a series of fine pieces, built with a kind of perforated slit, in such detail that they became odd pieces and, consequently in his signature.

Exploring the limits of woodturning is a challenge for this artist, at least singular. After choosing and working the wood, it follows the sculpture of intricate drawings made manually in the wood, giving a new life to Mother Nature, particularly beautiful, in the places where he had the lucky to born and to grow. «So, even if something happens to this natural history, which deserves all our respect, because it has its own life which man will never be able to master, it will be forever carved in my memory and in these vessels, in the case of those who, like me, want to keep it», explains Gordon.

The adventure is his DNA, reason why Gordon doesn´t stop exploring new ways, arts, influences and techniques. Recently, he began to draw engravings manually, but in steel and precious metals. On the way, he won prizes such as Supreme Exhibit, Royal Easter Show 1st Ornamental in 2016 and the Supreme Exhibit in Show, Royal Easter Show, Auckland, New Zealand, in 2014. He also participates in exhibitions, the last one was in 2016, at SOFA Chicago, World Art Dubai Gallerique, Roal Easter Show, with the theme: Turned Sculpted Wood.

If you are curious and want to buy a Gordon piece, you can do so at the electronic address: gordon@gordonpembridge.com. Keep in mind that they are unique pieces whose price isn´t affordable to any pocket, but priceless.

Contacts – Contactos: Gordon Pembridge Design, Ltd., Waiuku 2123, New Zealand, Tel.: 021 129 4478,

Email: gordon@gordonpembridge.com

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