Meet the artist: Bryan Faubert
Bryan Faubert, based in Calgary, Alberta, is an artist with deep connections to Nanaimo. Having spent five years here at a formative time in his career, Bryan sat down with us to discuss his sculpture 'Out From Out Where: Beyond Liminality', which was recently installed on the waterfront in McGregor Park across from the Port Theatre.
Faubert moved to Nanaimo after life brought him to the difficult place of living on the streets. He’s not shy about having to overcome difficult challenges, and in fact draws strength, gratitude and direction from his experiences. He shared that the time he spent growing as a person with the support of the arts community of Nanaimo changed his life.
After time living in Vancouver and Halifax, Faubert relocated to Nanaimo, visiting the Edgewood facility to undertake intensive treatment. While moving through recovery, he met Willow Friday, owner and operator of Iron Oxide Art Supplies, and began working on the renovation of the space that became her shop, currently located at the historic #2 Firehall on Victoria Road. His involvement in the construction of the space allowed him to use his skills to help fellow artists realize their own ambitions. Faubert built a tool inventory and opened Studio 34, a space where artists and makers who were interested in learning more about fabrication techniques could come to learn new skills and try out things, with guidance and support by Faubert. He ran a stretcher building workshop, introductions to mold making, stone carving and welding, joined the Nanaimo Arts Council, and became a very active part of the community. Eventually, his growth led him to take on a new challenge, and he relocated to Calgary where he recently completed a Master of Fine Arts.
Today, Faubert continues his studio practice in Calgary. His ambition to create large scale immersive sculpture has been informed by his experiences across the country, interacting with communities of various stripes. His style of drawing with a long continuous line, established over his years of considering street art and work that can speak directly to others of emotion and psychic space, continues to inform the plasma torch process he used to hand-cut intricate figures in metal. The archway he installed as part of our Temporary Public Art program this year offers day and night time views of an intermingled community. Gender fluid and open to interpretation, the lines he has drawn in metal are both windows back into Nanaimo, the surrounding sky, sea and urban landscape, and abstract faces and bodies of the interconnected community that supported him along his journey.