Who says size doesn’t matter?

Once, there were no sculptors, simply craftsmen–the physical workers behind the great ideas of architects.

Then, things changed.

The Renaissance uncovered artistic vision in craftsmen and they became sculptors. Like canvas and paint to a painter, stone and chisel defined the sculptor.

Well, things have changed again.

Today, sculpture encompasses various different forms, and artistic vision come not only from artists, but from the curators behind the exhibitions.

Precise 10X10X10 dimensional glass cubes protrude from the walls of the Triangle Arts Gallery, displaying miniature creations of 10 Canadian sculptors in precisely equal gender amounts.

"Women break with a 2,000 year tradition and go from being the objects to being the makers of art," points out curator Reinhard Skoracki, the man behind the artistic conception of MiniARTure.

Although the German curator’s character oozes thoughtful political commentary and humour, div- ersity is the lone common theme among the 10 artists. The exhibition showcases creations varying from Catherine Paleczny’s organic minimalist creations, to Ron Kostyniuk’s constructivist architectural models, to Jeff De Boer’s metal rocket mouse.

The diversity of materials used to perfect 10 very different artistic visions is amazing.

Kim Bruce combines wax, nails and pieces from nature to reflect humankind and the dichotomy between its fragility and resilience. Her artwork hangs like clothing from miniature hangers, a personal collection of intricate craftsmanship revealing the detail behind miniature artwork.

Kristen Abrahamson, a professor at the Alberta College of Art and Design, approaches her sculptures from a folk art angle. Carefully coloured dragon creations and Egyptian-style figurines are the foundation of her exhibit.

The most offbeat and humourous work comes from Jeff De Boer, who forges tiny pistols, placed carefully in hand-crafted boxes beside tiny bullets used for annihilating Martians. Dreams, fantasy and the unconscious make him a unique and popular attraction in the arts community.

"He is one of the few that actually make money with their art," jokes Skoracki.

Renaissance sculptors would be baffled–where has all the stone carving gone? Only Jadwiga Byszewski’s works hold true to traditional sculpting techniques.

"Stone is amazing material for carving," Byszewski explains. "Sometimes, the stone is telling you what you have to do. Almost until the last moment, I don’t know what it’s going to be, but the most amazing moment comes when I finally see what I want to have."

In an exhibition that restricts the artists solely in the size of their work, the diversity of human imagination becomes apparent, not only in the materials used for the sculptures, but in the personal vision behind them.

"I wanted variety," Skoracki says of the exhibition. "The show isn’t based on any theme, or issue. The only thing they have in common is that they’re miniature."

While smaller dimensions have long been sculpted, they require a different artistic approach. Although Byszewski works solely with stone, she provides an understanding of the difficult technique that is required of minute details.

"When smaller, it needs to be more gentle," the stone carving teacher explains that, contrary to quantitative reasoning, bigger is not always more difficult. "It is much harder to work with small dimensions."

MiniARTure runs at the Triangle Arts Gallery through Mar. 13, 2004.

For more info visit www.trianglegallery.com.

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