The sculptures of Tanis Saxby have an ethereal quality while simultaneously projecting the energy of something truly alive. Her sculptures evoke a feeling of freedom and they encourage me to be the most evolved and authentic person I can be. I’ve long been an admirer of her art. Tanis also gives generously to others in the community. She demonstrates the ideal that we reap what we sow. She regularly teaches mediation to other artists free of charge to show them how to connect to their wisest creative inner selves. She shares the way in which she has used meditation to heal from past traumas and create from an authentic place. I’m inspired by both her journey and her sculptures and she has helped me personally by sowing the seeds of creativity in my own life. I am forever grateful.
-Written by Deb Hall – Abstract Impressionist/Impressionist Painter
Which ’hood are you in?
I have a clay studio on the rooftop of a warehouse building in East Vancouver. The building is called “The Mergatroid” where there are painters, glassblowers, woodworkers and many more artists’ studios. The environment is electric with creativity and I’m continuously inspired by the other artists in the building.
What do you do?
I’m a clay sculptor.
When I touched porcelain clay for the first time it was like coming home, like having a conversation with a loved grandmother. Working with porcelain is immediate and responsive to touch. If I approach the clay wanting to dominate and control it, the sculpture doesn’t turn out the way I want. I have to listen to the clay, know it intimately, and shape it so it responds in a way that brings out the qualities that are inherent in plasticity. Clay is timeless, it’s the oldest living art form. I love that clay is the earth, and it deserves respect; I treat it as I would a loved friend.
When I was a child I was very shy, and I had difficulty communicating my thoughts and feelings. I learned to create as a way to express myself. I remember in my late teens, the day I took my first sculpture class, I was asked to create a shape that had an emotion. I picked up the clay and instinctively sculpted a range of emotions quite rapidly, which shocked both me and my instructor. I learned this was another way for me to express my inner world. As a young woman, I learned to trust myself and my voice through creating in clay and it gave me the confidence I needed to be stronger in the world. My intuitive voice which was cultivated during this time has been a guiding light throughout my life.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a commission for Marina Bay Sands Luxury hotel in Singapore, where they have purchased several of my sculptures. I just sent off a sculpture to Hong Kong and another to Monaco where I almost squeezed myself into the shipping crate I wanted to go with it so much. Simultaneously, I’m also working on creating video content for my website that shares mediation and creativity techniques for people wanting to develop their intuition while creating.
I continue to work with my gallery in New York, Ivy Brown Gallery. “Ivy” is the owner and is as interesting as the art she represents. The relationship between a gallery owner and the artist is very special and one which requires trust and respect from both people for it to be successful. Working with Ivy is a joy and I cherish our often long interesting chats together.
Where can we find your work?
Hope to see you there!