Sustainability and Values

Shane Christensen

The Artist

Shane Christensen is a professional sculptor living on the Sunshine Coast, QLD Australia.

Shane calls himself an ‘environmental artist’ which is an interesting combination of his past life working in Conservation and Environmental Protection, and his current direction which is Chainsaw Carving. He feels that educating people in how they can preserve and interact with fragile ecosystems is better achieved through interaction.

“Carving larger than life size animals, that kids can climb all over gives them a better connection to the environment than sitting in the classroom”

After a Feathertail Glider moved into one of his sculptures he realised that what he was creating wasn’t limited to art but also gave native animals a home.

Over the last few years Shane has started introducing native Australian Stingless Bee Hives into some of his sculptures. He found that they were instinctively attracted to particular type of wood he was carving with.

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Carving waves with the Mini Carver.

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Wave-inspired piece.

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Wedge Tailed Eagle.

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Laughing Kookaburra carved into a Camphor stump using chainsaws and Arbortech. Sometimes we’ve just got to remember to laugh.

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JABREEN the Giant Warrior - Dreamtime story from the Kombumerri people.

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Mt Eerwah and frangipani flowers, relief carved bench. This piece was in collaboration with Steve Weis Metalwork.

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Warrior Sculpture. This piece was inspired by the warriors that fought in the frontier wars, protecting their families and way of life.

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How did you get into working with wood?

My father was a builder so I grew up around wood work and various power tools.

Do you have an official qualification for what you do now?

I’ve spent time learning various carving techniques from master carvers, but I’m mostly self taught.

What inspires your creations?

I love Australian Fauna and Flora and this is a source of most of my inspirations, there really is a lot of natural beauty in this country.

What would you tell your younger self starting out on your artistic journey?

If I could give the younger me some guidance, I’d encourage me to “go for it!”, you’re not going to find a map with directions to follow, you have to create your own way, your own path.

Do you sell your work?

I’m a full time sculptor and most of my work is commissioned for private property, public spaces and schools. I also do live chainsaw and power carving demonstrations at festivals and events, have tools will travel.

What is your favourite Arbortech Tool and why?

My favourite Arbortech tools are the Mini Carver and TURBOPlane. I can use them for detailing on my larger sculptures, and they’re also great on my smaller relief carvings.

If you were a type of wood what would you be and why?

If I was a type of wood, I’d be Tallowood (Eucalyptus Microcorys) an Australian hardwood, it’s a very durable outdoor timber that lasts decades.

The sap from freshly cut Tallowood attracts native bees, they use it to build their homes.

How do you like to spend your time when you are not working with wood?

When I’m not carving wood, I’m in the surf carving the waves, spearfishing, mountain climbing and family time at the beach.

This sculpture tells a story about the birds and the bees

Showcase Piece

Fertility

Taking his inspiration from nature, Shane incorporates Australian Native bees into many of his sculptures. He carved this sculpture he calls “Fertility”. Not only this sculpture is breathtaking, he transformed it into a symbol of sustainability by installing a box hive of Australian Native Bees into the sculpture, with an entry through the belly button for the bees.

“This sculpture tells a story about the birds and the bees, and mother earth’s fertility.” Shane goes on to explain, “Humans, plants and animals all depend on the health of the planet, for the continuation of life”.

Carve a Fish Then Smoke One

 

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