Aboriginal peoples all over the world believe that stone is the keeper of wisdom of the ages, having been witness to the passage of time since creation began. They are the Stone People, the holders of historical records of any given area. Trees are the Standing People. The Cherokee believe that trees give service to all members of the animal kingdom, including humans, both while they are standing and after they have fallen. The Stone People are the keepers and the Standing People are the givers in perfect balance. Greg Martodam, as the craftsman, is the artist facilitating this fusion of nature.
Finding the right Aspen deadfall is a process of discovery through the scrub Aspen forest of the Southern Alberta Plains or the larger stands of Aspen in Northern Saskatchewan. Aspen, being a tree with a short life-cycle, soon falls back to the ground to begin the next phase of its relationship to the Earth. Aspen grows in strangely twisted and gnarled shapes and, with the process of decay, turns color to include bright reds and even turquoise. The unique nature of this magnificent wood plays a significant role in what makes Martodam’s work so breathtakingly beautiful.. The wood itself seems to innately know its own contribution of form to the art. The local merges with the exotic in the marriage of hand-selected, ancient flagstone slate imported from China and India, and the short-lived indigenous Aspen.
Sunset rusty reds to the bottomless ocean greens of this remarkable stone offer the harmonic balance of fire and water in these the most primal of elements of Mother Nature. Martodam’s eye is impeccable and the results obvious in the passionate pursuit of his craft.
Suspended, wall mounted or free-standing tables meld function with art in yet another revelation of yin and yang.
By Kari Klassen