Peter McFarlane is a well established artist based on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Over his career he has worked with many different media. What connects all of his work is the re-contextualizing of everyday objects to bring awareness to people's interactions with objects and place.
"This body of work started when I moved from the city to the west coast and into the country ten years ago. That geographical and cultural shift was very dramatic, as was the skill set required to live rurally. The move encouraged a broader relationship with nature and, as well, a heightened awareness of indigenous art and culture. These two factors have contributed most to my new work.
My art has been about re-contextualizing objects or consumer products, giving them a new meaning that confuses the cultural assumptions we take for granted.
I made the first Raven mask out of my chainsaw, and it proved to be a very fertile idea. Each successive piece utilized other materials that also transformed landscape: old machetes, scythes, rototiller blades, lawnmower blades, etc. The specific discarded objects used were either deemed "of little use" or "obsolete", metaphorically speaking of a loss of a cultural and physical landscape. Long days welding, grinding and cutting metal coalesced loose associations between altering or clear-cutting a landscape and metaphorically 'clear-cutting' a culture.
These old, obsolete objects have been resurrected to create a discourse and hopefully open up a space of possibility, where something new is re-cycled from the old objects and meanings that consciousness has left behind but not forgotten." - Peter McFarlane