As the daughter of prominent Canadian sculptor, Fran Jenkins, Cathryn spent many hours in her mother’s studio learning about the qualities of different stone and the relationship between artist and medium while gaining an understanding of line, form and the joy of sculpture.
Her own stylized representational forms, influenced by her mother as well as Inuit and American sculptors, combine the pleasure of touch and the appeal of strong line. The skillful union of these key elements, consistently present in all of Cathryn’s work, allows the creation of unmatched, timeless works of art.
The stone selected for Cathryn’s works is hand quarried in British Columbia. Marble, alabaster, serpentine and soapstone have individual qualities unveiled by hammer and chisel, diamond blades, rasps, files and the artist’s eye to reveal flowing agility, powerful line and lustrous natural surface. The work is to be touched. Its tactile appeal becomes a part of the living area for which it is created. Her sculpture becomes an integral part of it’s space; a familiar presence to which an understanding and relationship soon develops.
Cathryn’s series of sought after wildlife sculptures continue to hold places of pride among many private and corporate collections.
A deposit of this very unusual stone in central British Columbia provides an excellent medium for sculpting. Millions of years ago deep in the earth, a mass of peridotite metamorphasized into black and blue-grey serpentine with a very high content of iron-carbonate. Hot fluids invaded the iron-carbonate serpentine partially altering it to a golden brown iron rich marble - anchorite with chlorite and talc as the main accessory minerals. Some of the serpentine was left unchanged. All of this resulted in stone of black, blue-grey, gold and splashes of green; sometimes all in the same piece.
“Sculpting in stone is a sport. It involves using the entire body, and that can get hard after a while. The majority of sculptors come from the trades – I came from an arts background.” Cathryn is now doing less stonework and more bronze work. Using foam and clay, Cathryn creates strong lines, and can change the work as she goes along. There is a design element to this style which Cathryn says is a nice change from the unforgiving nature of the stone.