As many of you know, Rob Dodds is a sculptural artist and the founder of Motion Gallery. What you probably don’t know is that he is also the co-founder of an arts fabrication group called Studio Cartel, and is also a part-time welder.
Rob doesn’t think of himself as a Chairman of an art gallery though. His idea to start the gallery was simply, in his words, “I needed a place to show my work, and figured other artists would too. I didn’t really know what to expect, and I had no idea what I was doing. But with help from some friends, the support of my family, and tenacity, Motion Gallery became established.”
He says he has met many great people, and has had great conversations with skilled artists at the gallery. “…the best part: is when I’m feeling blah about art, feeling like I’ve seen it all, then someone brings something really great to the gallery, and it shakes me up.”
Being involved in dozens of shows to date, he recalls his first group art show called ‘Phobic’ at ArtSpot back in 2010. His work is an evolution of refining welding methods, expanding his tool-set, skill set, and knowledge base. He has been published in print and media, and you can find one of Rob’s earlier metal sculptures at the Dorothy Harvey Gardens at the Calgary Zoo, as well as in Motion Gallery, Studio Cartel, and soon on his swanky, new website.
Finding inspiration from people around him, he counts his biggest influences to be artists such as Jeff Deboer, Igor Verny and his friend Camille Betts. Rob appreciates all forms of art, saying that he tries to see what’s good in each piece, admitting that he finds interest in other forms where he may not know the finer points of that art, and the nuances may be beyond his understanding.
“I get out to see as much as I can, but it can be hard to find out what’s going on in town.”
A student of ‘life’, he says he doubts there will ever come a time where he will have learned everything, or explored every possibility of what he already does. He tells us, “I dabbled with photography, but I don’t have the time and energy to get to the point where I can call myself a photographer. It did, however, expand my appreciation for the form.”
“I’m into metal”, he proclaims. “Is ‘Metal hands’ a thing? I’m pretty sure it’s a thing”, he adds, and let’s us know that we can expect sculptures reflecting this part of the anatomy in the future.
Rob has now begun a new series called ‘I Dream’, and says, “Some smart ass said I could use some off cut for ‘art stuff’”. He adds, “I’ve just finished the first piece in this series. It’s an exploration where I’m using wide flange ‘I’ beam, making something meaningful out of the ugliest, most inorganic, and ubiquitous material. This project is largely about ‘honoring the material’ and ‘honoring the process’”.
He explains his thought process through some of his distinctive collections. “Society Machine, was based on a hypothetical narrative viewing essential human elements from the viewpoint of an outsider. Masks, was a series exploring different methods and themes. With Mosaic, I creating shapes with tiny pieces which was fun”.
Contradictory to his family’s career paths as accountants, Rob took a different road, explaining this turn of events not as a decision, but an acceptance. It started with the family next door who were artists from Victoria, BC, who he would visit and do all sorts of creative things such as drawing, painting and sculpting. It was less about trying to be creative, than it was about being freely creative. “Making art is like an internalized validation”.
His ultimate dreams would be to build cars for a Mad Max movie, make something HUGE for Burning Man, and to build a giant fighting robot. Casting metal is something he’d also like to try.
Rob Dodds - Mosaic close-up view
Rob Dodds - Society Machine 1.0
Rob Dodds - Mosaic
Rob Dodds - Society Machine 2.0
Rob Dodds - Mosaic close-up
Rob Dodds - Form
Rob Dodds - Heart Pendant
Rob Dodds - Form
Rob Dodds -
Rob Dodds - Sphere
Rob Dodds - Form 2
Written by Sandra Montgomery
Edited by Renee Laferriere