Architectural eye candy itself, Phantom Creek Estates is a magnificent stage to shine the light on outstanding Canadian art. From June 30 through to September 4, stone sculptures by renowned artists Chaka Chikodzi and Barbara Maye hold residence throughout the lavish grounds.
Phantom Creek was established with a long-term vision to build one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada. The influential international winemaking and winegrower teams — Amy Richards, Mark Beringer, and Olivier Humbrecht MW — leverage the fruit cultivated in certified organic vineyards to present wines reflecting the unique terroir.
“It makes sense,” as Managing Director François Mateo shared with guests at the August 17 hosted reception to celebrate the Artists in Residence, “for Phantom Creek to collaborate with artists with a vision as pure for their sculptures as we have for wine.”
As generous glasses of Phantom Creek Estates’ Viognier, Rose, and Becker Vineyard Cuvee were savoured, guests had the opportunity to witness the artistry, stories, and the arcane wisdom embedded within these dramatic sculptures. Chaka’s captivating volcanic rock creations reflecting his Zimbabwean-Canadian heritage and profound connection to nature and Barbara’s intuitive soapstone carvings, known as Flipstones, evoked perspective shifts in the viewers are they were encouraged to interact with the works.
QR codes were displayed on the works allowing you to scan to learn more about the pieces such as their title, price, and availability.
While the region’s skies were darkened by wildfire smoke, Phantom Creek gave light to the artists, their sculptures and the work that went into their creation.
Meet the Artists
Chaka Chikodzi is a Zimbabwean-Canadian stone sculptor based in Kingston, Ontario, where he has lived with his family for 10 years. He works with volcanic rock from Zimbabwe where he began sculpting as a teenager. He has a studio in Kingston and one in Myurwi, Zimbabwe, where he works with a team of assistants.
He notes his work remains inspired by the beauty and simplicity of the natural rock formations unique to Zimbabwe’s landscape. “The stories of migration and our relationship to the landscapes that bear witness to our travels,” are also an inspiration.
“The stone itself tells about geological history and his relationship with it through the years living between two continents.”
Barbara Maye is a stone carver, multi-media artist and instructor living on the traditional land of the Sinixt, the Ktunaxa, the Secwepemc, and the Sylix (Revelstoke, BC). After achieving a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction in 2007, Barbara attended a workshop with Chaka where she was introduced to the wonders of stone carving.
It ignited a passion to create with stone harvested directly from the land, which led her to Revelstoke where she has lived 11 years. She says, “Understanding the earth processes that form soapstone and discovering the locations of it surrounding her home has brought her emotional and spiritually closer to the land.”
She is exploring a vein of work she calls Flipstones that are smaller, interactive sculptures with multiple positions. Barbara engaged with guests at her Flipstones, inviting you to change the stone’s resting position and gain perspective shifts through the interplay.
Not surprising given each artist feels such reverence to the stone with which they are working, Chaka and Barbara plan to exchange some of their raw stone. This collaboration will allow each to experience new geological connections and interpret how that rock speaks to them.
Let the Sculptures Speak to You
Don’t delay heading to the exhibit which continues at Phantom Creek Estates until September 4.
It was fascinating to see the changes in the sculptures as the light fluctuated throughout our visit. I had never seen Phantom Creek in orange light before and it was no less stunning in these smoky hues.