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"I've done sculpture all my life," Pinay says. His talent was realized while he was taking a biology course in university. Soon, he was pursuing his art full-time. He says that in the beginning, "My work was different enough that there was a market for it."
Pinay attributes a great deal of the originality of his work to his heritage. A member of the Peepeekisis First Nation, he spent a great deal of his childhood in exploration of the wild.
He believes that art can contribute to the preservation of nature through awareness of the people and wildlife of the land. As a result, the relationship between man and his environment is frequently reflected in his work.
At the beginning of his career, the self-taught artist experimented with a number of different materials. He has worked with marble, steatite, limestone, alabaster, silver and bronze. Pinay says that he has no favourite medium, but states, "Stonework has its limitations." These limitations include its susceptibility to permanent damage from vandalism and erosion. These mediums are also fragile and frequently create difficulties when working with intricate detailing, he says.
Thus, over the years, Pinay has leaned towards creating with bronze. Despite being thin, bronze is very durable. This is a feature that is especially desirable when he creates works that are required to withstand extreme weather conditions. The monument featured in front of Wanuskewin Heritage Park is one such example, being exposed to both winter and summer extremes in Saskatchewan.
While working with bronze, Pinay has developed a number of his own techniques, many of which are time-saving processes. In order to remain on top of his work, he says, "I've gotten involved in every stage of the foundry process. By doing so, he ensures the quality of his work.
Pinay is currently working on a number of projects. He has been commissioned by the Muskowekwan First Nation to create a memorial monument. The work, which he expects to complete by this fall, features two children in traditional dress with a golden eagle representing the spiritual connection.
He is also working on the National Aboriginal War monument that is featured on this month's cover of Saskatchewan Indian. The monument is intended to be a tribute to the contributions of Canada's Aboriginal people in war and peace.
The sculpture will recognize four eras World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict and the present, peacekeeping role. The monument is meant to address the strength of Aboriginal people's beliefs drawn from the natural world around them. Pinay has also incorporated both the number four and the circle into the design of the monument.
The monument is expected to take about two years to complete and will stand approximately 30 feet. It will be located in Ottawa, Ontario.
Lloyd Pinay's artwork has been featured in exhibitions in major cities throughout Canada and the United States. He has made presentations of his work to the Queen Mother in Great Britain and to the Republic of China.
His work can also be seen throughout Saskatchewan, including the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and monuments in Fort Qu'Appelle.