Photo by Sharon Montgomery-Dupe of the Cape Breton Post
Photo by Brooks of Canada for NSFAF
Murray Gallant of New Waterford, Cape Breton is this year's featured artist. Remarkably, 16 of his pieces reside in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. He is also an accomplished fiddler in the true tradition of Cape Breton.
Murray been carving for over 30 years, and at 79, feels he may not be attending too many more Nova Scotia Folk Art Festivals. He learned to carve from his grandfather after a wooden windmill with a woman churning butter caught his interest.
When Murray starts carving a new piece he doesn't have any idea what it will eventually look like. It just sort of evolves. He is well-known for his "Cape Breton Ladies" carrying handbags and wearing bright polka dot dresses. About some of his carvings that might seem risquí Murray says, "I don't want to offend anyone but I like to do whatever comes into my mind. Often humour seems to come in and if I can make people laugh I do a good job."
Everything Murray makes is carved from rough wood; there are no found pieces or ready-made parts. Murray was a participant in the inaugural Lunenburg Folk Art Festival of 1988. (W. Miller, Folk Art Maritime)
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