Ian Gillies and Marc Fiset
This sculpture was born at the inaugural Burning Rock Festival on Fogo Island in 2021. This annual festival, created by Ian and Marc, brings together artists of many mediums for a two-week summer event of creating art and food. Ian and Marc agreed the sculpture’s concept was to be imagined on the first day of the event and a total of over 150 hours of very physical and mentally demanding work went into it to complete it in this brief period of time. On the last day of the festival, the piece was set aflame to embody the “Burning Rock” theme. A lot of the steel used for this work was recycled from the fishery. Its intent is to represent the deteriorating fishery and the strength and resilience of this industry and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Ian Gillies is a Newfoundland metal artist who was born and grew up in the St. John’s area. He has trained with metal artists in Newfoundland, throughout Canada and in the prestigious Sapinecchio Arts Factory in Italy. His extensive career away from Newfoundland for 20 years, in varied industries, has given him a broad variety of skills and experiences that he uses in his art.
Ian has always been an artist in one medium or another; however, metalwork gives him the artistic and physical outlet that he thrives on. He first specialized in a series of artistic and home decor items. In time, Ian expanded his work to Newfoundland and Labrador-inspired metal sculptures, which can be seen in public and private spaces throughout the province and Canada, as well as in other countries. Ian’s work has also been featured on the internationally successful show Rock Solid Builds.
Marc Fiset retired from the Canadian Forces in 2011 after a 20-year career and, along with his family, moved to Shoal Bay, Fogo Island. Shortly after, he began working with various metals by welding, casting, forging, and shaping them. For eight years now, Marc has owned and operated Fogo Island Metalworks, a metal art workshop/studio located on Fogo Island, Newfoundland.
Since 2015, Marc has designed and created art fixtures for people around the world, his work can also be seen around the province and country. He is a self-taught artist who combines modern and traditional techniques, all his work is handmade and unique.
Marc draws inspiration from nature, life experience as well as the local traditions and culture of Fogo Island. You will find Newfoundland and Island influences in many of his
pieces. Other pieces are simply a way of expressing various Ideas, and feelings.
The Quidi Vidi Art Search is made possible through funding by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Rediscover Main Streets initiative, which supports the economy by helping Atlantic Canadians re-experience their main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods. The initiative aims to breathe new life into local economies affected by the global pandemic.