David Clancy seeks to capture an inner serenity, the individual character and strength of his subject animal in his work. Using only the most basic of hand tools, David creates complex, detailed and incredibly realistic animal sculptures in marble. His life-like, animated style can be attributed to his love of nature.

His artistic learning, inclination and inspiration began in the long, bountiful, summers of Lake Nippissing in northern Ontario.  By age 13 he was painting in oils and at 16 he had received his first commission. Since graduating in 1972 from the Vancouver School of Art in British Columbia he began his journey in 3-dimensional sculpture - seeking out a challenges of a self-taught medium to capture the spirit.

He is known for carving incredibly realistic and detailed images from marble. He creates the texture of fur or the satiny finish of skin that brings each animal to life. He expertly inlays jade, obsidian or onyx for eyes or carves out an entire mouth cavity to leave teeth incredibly exposed. He may use Indian ink to highlight areas of the image.  

So – we see a polar bear paused in a moment, alone, strong, resilience and wary in its stance, as if smelling the ground or sniffing the air… A northerner, a ‘NANUK’.  The fur looks cold, Indian Ink highlights and reveals the black skin underneath. David the artist pushes the medium itself and risks the sculpture - by carving the fur itself into the hard, dense marble.  

Pushing boundaries, going into the risky challenge od such a hard stone willingly – he picks up a hammer and a chisel, creating space from the solid base stone, freeing teeth to breathe, real air to a animals mouth, that’s a Clancy piece. Freely introducing risk – often near the last of the carving work – he seeks to capture life by assuming flair of risk.   

To create his work, David begins with a piece of marble - typically 3-4 times the size of the finished sculpture – and carves, weaves and changes the image as he responds to the flow and lines of the stone. Dictated to and constrained by this unaccommodating medium, David seeks to create and push the boundaries of his work.  

An incredibly difficult and unforgiving medium, marble is a metamorphic stone formed from seashells under hundreds of millions of years of time, heat and pressure. Each stone has its own unique nature and the natural inclusion lines will dictate the image produced. It is a very hard, dense stone and is very slow to work with. Unlike a blank canvas, David cannot impose an image on the marble – you can lose the entire piece on the last day of carving if an inclusion line is impacted.  

David lives with his wife and three children in a seaside community in British Columbia. Corporations such as Merrill Lynch and Mohawk Oil have commissioned Clancy’s sculptures. One of his pieces is owned by the President of South Korea while another was given as a gift to the King and Queen of Sweden. He remains enthusiastic and committed to his work, which is sought after by private and public collectors worldwide.   
I feel blessed to be an artist, and to live and work so close to nature. I am surrounded by everything I need to be creative.
David Clancy