Yukon Arts Centre Gallery Blog

Artwork Wednesday: Shane Wilson

Candle Ice - moose antler - 25x33x15in - 1999 - Shane Wilson

Candle Ice – moose antler – 25x33x15in – 1999

“My intention is to create beautifully original sculpture, ethically and sustainably, directly from nature in found antler, horn, ivory, bone and bronze—the carving suggestive of a way forward for our rapidly changing planet, one in which we’ll create beautifully original solutions, ethically and sustainably, directly with nature.” – Shane Wilson


Organic and non-organic forms and materials co-exist within master carver Shane Wilson’s powerful carvings of horn, ivory, antler and bronze. The carvings are abstracted, sleek and refined, yet his materials, such as mammoth ivory, might be up to 40 000 years old and their original shape is rough.

Formerly based in the Yukon for many years, residing in Whitehorse and Faro, Wilson’s work is held in the Yukon Government Permanent Art Collection, the Yukon Arts Centre Permanent Collection, the Haines Junction Permanent Art Collection and the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Contemporary Art Collection amongst others.

Wilson’s signature duality is evident in the Yukon Art Centre’s Permanent Art Collection piece Candle Ice, a smooth moose antler carved into jagged triangular shapes that resemble daggers of ice like those found alongside a frozen river. The smooth precision of the carving is a transformation of the original antler, likely shed by a moose just after mating season.

Many viewers wonder if the piece is made of one solid piece of antler, or if it was created with multiple pieces of antler adhered together. Impressively, Candle Ice was carved as one individual form with geometric shapes created out of the core naturally shaped antler.

In 2012, the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto commissioned Wilson to re-create Candle Ice for the lobby of their Hotel. This video shows the incredible transformation of raw material into spectacular sculpture, and the installation in its current location.


Sculptures featured: Candle Ice, Candle Ice Two, Canada Winter Games – Yukon Torch, Shooting of Dan McGrew, Gaia, Yukon Seasons


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