Brett Davis was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1957. He graduated with honors from Toronto’s Central Technical School Special Fine Art Program in 1981 where he majored in sculpture, and won The K.A.Griffith Award and The Peter Haworth Award for Meritorious Achievement, and is a member of The Sculptors Society of Canada. At an early age, he became interested in art and architecture, and was influenced by his father, (Peter) who was a commercial artist and later after meeting a local artist Dorothy Clark McClure, who encouraged him to study at the Central Technical School and became his mentor. Brett studied art history and Classical Sculpture, which after graduation from art school, eventually lead to the research of ancient cultures, their architecture and art. Through his studies, Brett became fascinated with the bronze casting process, particularly that of the ancient Greeks and Romans and helped work in the school foundry. After graduation he sought employment in the foundry business where he gained experience from working at 2 different bronze art foundries where he had the opportunity to work with many re known Canadian artist's sculpture. With over 25 years of experience, he specializes in the design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of custom and commissioned bronze works designed specifically for interior and exterior environments. Brett has worked with many prominent landscaping firms integrating bronze sculptures and fountains into their unique designs and has won many public art competitions in Ontario, Canada.
He works in all facets of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from welding, fabrication, chasing and fountain design. Brett has also studied ancient and historical patinas for more than 25 years, while practicing in the art of chemical patination, which has gained him a notable reputation as a Patina Specialist in Metal Conservation that has allowed him to treat and restore many historical public bronze monuments, sculptures and architectural features for the cities of Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Ontario, and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. He creates specialized patina formulas for his own works, which are an integral and significant element to each sculpture, and also creates patina recipes for many leading Canadian and international artists and has conducted patina workshops at local and international art colleges and art foundries. His travels abroad have also earned him an international reputation as a bronze artist, participating in many invitational international exhibitions and symposiums, and has numerous private and public works in Asia, United Kingdom, USA and Canada.
STATEMENT ON CLASSICAL FORMS
"Classical Forms” is a creation of sculptures that are based primarily on the human form, that replicate ancient artefacts, unearthed from their natural habitats. They are reflections of the classical Greek and Roman styles that narrate a sculptural beauty in a fragmented form. These fragmented forms denote time, revealing only traces of originally completed compositions, that appear to have been un-earthed, treated and stabilized in their existing condition, and formally presented in an antiquated state, much like that of a museum. This is an exploration of an ancient style of art, exemplified by the patina applied to each bronze, which is a crucial element in simulating a visual appearance from the Classical Period. An intrinsic aspect of these classical forms, is that some the figures are created in contemporary poses, unlike that of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In essence, these sculptures still carry forward the romantic, exotic and heroic virtues of the past, modelled in a more contemporary style that initiate an interactive dialogue to open up new avenues pertaining to the significance and merit of the artwork, through execution, technique and choice of material that projects a corrosive state of depletion, or a state of preservation. Sculpture, is forever evolving, and is subject to change as each new era is defined. This collection of works evokes a modernistic approach to Classical Sculpture, encompassing Archaeology, Metal Conservation, ancient bronze casting techniques, and the replication of the patinas found on actual bronze artefacts recovered from areas of the Mediterranean, thousands of years ago. The textural surfaces are a significant factor in replicating a buried object from antiquity and also play a key and fundamental role as to how the light is reflected and absorbed on the surfaces, intensifying or reducing the three dimensional form in this corroded condition. Research on ancient bronzes, began several years ago, and was collected from visits to The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, The British Museum in London, England and The Louvre in Paris. Visits to each of these art institutions was to study the corrosive state of actual bronze artefacts and sculptures, which helped to aid in the research and development of patinas that are applied to each of the fragments to enhance their antiquated state employing various patina techniques.
This body of works reveals the beauty of bronze, employed as an ancient sculptural medium to replicate the past. They touch on current environmental issues that are affecting the habitat of existing wildlife and the fragility of human life and signify an awareness of how these ancient cultures who created the artefacts and sculptures can be lost in time, through natural or man-made disasters. Re-discovering the past, gives us greater respect and appreciation for whom and what surrounds us in the present.
STATEMENT ON ANCIENT STRUCTURES
The first architectural space conception was possibly conceived thousands of years ago in an area known as Mesopotamia. As civilizations began to develop, a variety of structures were designed and erected to suit the specific needs and necessities for domestic and religious functions. As time passed, the knowledge of architecture progressed and cultures began to develop their own unique styles by blending sculptural human forms and their spiritualties’ into these structures. During these transitional periods, the relationship to space began to evolve and countries from around the world interpreted their own use of inner and outer space conceptions and sculptural styles in many intriguing ways. These bronze works signify a new Renaissance of art in architecture. The sculptural influences are derived from many ancient civilizations such as, Egypt, Rome and Asia.
This style of sculptures was created from my profound interest of ancient architecture and cultural history. They reinforce the feelings of optimism and good faith in our present-day society that reflect on the past of ancient civilizations and projects into the future. We see how these ancient cultures have constructed great monuments and architecture that attest to their era of religious, political and educational needs, paving new avenues for our future, and left behind their knowledge and ingenuity.