Lots of arts (and artists) are stirring in Sooke with numerous art shows coming up, including one of the biggest in these parts, the Sooke Fine Arts Show.
The other is the annual Stinking Fish Studio Tour, showcasing what East Sooke and Metchosin artists have to offer more specifically. This year, the show runs from July 21 to 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with 16 artists taking part.
One of the artists in attendance will be Bert Lambier, a Metchosin artist who specializes in metal-based sculptures, but works with a wide variety of other materials, including stained glass.
“Learning to work with as many materials as possible gives you the freedom to get what’s in your head, out into the world,” Lambier said, whose studio puts this philosophy in action.
Son of a naval family, Lambier bounced between the East and West coasts, and after a final five year stay in Ottawa, he made his way back to Vancouver Island.
Leaving school, Lambier sought to make his way in a variety of jobs, working in a butcher shop, restaurants and even as a nightclub bouncer.
As long as he can remember, he was interested in assemblage, seeing and bringing out interesting colours and patterns in common objects. His father’s hobby was making stained glass, and some of Bert’s first artistic efforts were in that field.
After meeting his partner, a lawyer with a strong taste for art, Lambier took up welding and metal work at Camosun College. While his colleagues were looking to get into dockyard and ship building, Lambier’s ambition was to create art in metal.
He quickly learned the trade making consumer and commercial products such as gates, furniture, holders, racks and sculptures.
“This was the real learning experience as they don’t teach you how to bend metal using a wheel rim or a disk brake rotor and your hands in school,” he said. Lambert later set up his own shop in his single car garage at his home in James Bay, eventually settling down in Metchosin.
And why Stinking Fish? Ah yes, story goes back to the 1840s when explorer James Douglas asked the First Nations people of this region what they called the Metchosin area, they answered with “s-met-sho-sun” which literally means stinking fish.
For more info on Bert Lambier’s work, visit wingnutdesigns.com, or check out stinkingfishtour.com.