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Artists George Sawchuk

George Sawchuk (1927–2012)
A self-taught sculptor, George Sawchuk lived in Fanny Bay and was known for his magical woods behind his home, which are animated by his artwork and informed by a life of logging, hoboing and growing up on the twin pillars of Catholicism and Communism (two hours a day at the Bolshevik Hall). Sawchuk was working on a construction crew when an accident resulted in the amputation of one of his legs, an event that ironically left him with the time that enabled him to explore his artistic interests. Instinctively using found materials to create sculptures that interacted with trees (which gradually became overgrown and disappeared into the nature from which they originally came), Sawchuk was essentially unaware of his connection to previous and current art practices until he met the Baxters, two artists who had founded the N.E. Thing Co. and had moved to North Vancouver. Beginning with his discussions with them, Sawchuk began also to carve a place for himself in the art world, creating portable sculptures that could be displayed in galleries and museums, as well as his outdoor pieces. Sawchuk was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1979.