Christine Wignall started sculpting her signature human figures after a year of studying in Spain at the University of Valencia.
“The instruction in Spain was really exceptional and I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to study with some very great masters,” said Wignall, who is now based in Calgary.
She started out making and selling her own jewelry when she was 14, which allowed her to pay for her first trips studying abroad.
Having also spent many years making stained glass windows on commission, she now primarily transforms clay into “imaginary human figures and some funny small sculptures of naked people.”
Since art school, Wignall notes she’s been most interested in human figures and finds her biggest inspiration in people.
“They’re all different,” said Wignall. “They’re all interesting in their own way.”
Her work has appeared in many galleries over the past 15 years, and Wignall says her art often gets varied reactions.
“Sometimes they’ll laugh, sometimes they’ll just be fascinated and sometimes they’ll think how beautiful it is.”
However, with Artpoint Gallery — where her human figure sculptures currently reside — closing in October, Wignall has had to move all her work.
She has decided to sell her sculptures at the gallery in April at a pay-what-you-can price, to go towards a scholarship for aspiring artists.
Wignall, who attended art school with her late husband and fellow artist Trevor Wignall, already had money set aside for the scholarship from sales of his paintings.
“When he died, rather than having a funeral, we had Trevor Wignall’s first and last solo art show,” she said. “It was a great success.”
Now focused on selling her own human figures, she hopes people will take an interest in purchasing one of her 200 unique sculptures, noting, “It’s almost impossible to make them look the same.”