Monday, 1 August 2011

Peter MacElwain - June 3 1948 - August 3 2001

Peter MacElwain, artist, sculptor, teacher, love of my life, died 10 years ago on Wednesday (Aug. 3) of this week. I will be blogging about him this week in celebration of his life and work, and because he was a wonderful person, much loved by everyone who knew him. This picture was taken in 1991 when Peter and I were beginning our life together.  

Peter was always happiest when he was in his studio. He mostly worked in metal - bronze, steel, aluminum. He did his own foundry work and was a really good welder. This picture was taken in his studio in Guelph, about 25 years ago, when he was helping the Chinese sculptor, Situ Jie, with a large bronze piece that was to commemorate the Chinese workers who built the railway in Canada. (I believe the piece is now in Vancouver).  

This is Peter (and yours truly) in his studio in Lefaivre. He designed and built the studio himself, to have a large space where he could make very large sculpture. It always looked like chaos to me, but he knew exactly where everything was. This is a typical scene, where Peter is surrounded by saws and drills and welding equipment and maquettes and half-finished sculpture.

This is one of my favourite pieces. It is welded aluminum painted white. This picture was taken somewhere in the southern U.S. (Kentucky? Tennessee? Alabama?) where he was showing in a large sculpture exhibition. Peter was invited to show in various places in the States and we would go every year in the spring to set up his sculpture. Getting such large pieces there was difficult, considering we only had a little truck to take them in. Peter always designed his sculpture so they could be taken apart, carried in our small truck and then reassembled when we got there. The drives were crazy sometimes, but we always had fun.


Sarah said...

Here is a photo of the Chinese railroad workers memorial in place in Vancouver.

Looking forward to more blogs about Peter - he is missed.

Ronna said...

More about Peter! Looking forward to this week.
I am happy to have known Peter... and remember him at my book launch and happy that he could attend.

Knatolee said...

A great loss to you, but a loss to all of us as well; such talent! I wish I could have me him. I look forward to your posts about him.

frannie said...

Looking forward to more about you and Peter. I love that picture of you two in the look pre-raphaelite.

Brenda said...

Thankyou so much for remembering Peter in this way. It gives us a way to celebrate his life. I have such good memories of him, his work, the life you two had together and those wonderful parties down by the river. I will be thinking of him, you and all of that today.

Frances Ko said...

I don't think we've ever met but Situ Jie was my grandfather (he passed away in 2005). I remember hearing stories of him working with your husband Peter and he sounded like a great person. I wish I had the chance to meet him.

Evlyn said...

I am so glad everyone liked my posts about Peter. I hope to show more photos of him and his work in the future.
Sarah - thank you so much for the link to the Chinese railroad workers memorial. It was great to see it.
Ronna - I remember when Peter and I came to your book launch. Thank you for that memory.
Frances - I would really love to hear more about your grandfather, Situ Jie. He spent two summers with Peter and me in the 1990s and I remember what a wonderful man he was.

Frances Ko said...

We all moved to Los Angeles in 1996 and have been here ever since. You might remember my mom, Monica? I mentioned to her that I found your blog and she was very excited to hear. My grandparents got a place of their own when they moved to the states and after my grandfather passed in 2005, my grandmother moved to a senior living home. My mother on the other hand lives and works in Beijing China, currently setting up an exhibit to showcase all of my grandfather's work.

Frances Ko said...
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