Photostory #470: Canadian Sculptor George Wallace at Work
National Film Board of Canada
June 8, 1968
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Forcefully fashioning the harshness of hardened steel into figures of unrelenting existence is the striking artwork of George Wallace. Appropriately, as an associate professor of fine arts at McMaster University in Canada's surging steel-making city of Hamilton, Mr. Wallace takes the toughness of rigid sheet metal and in the austere metallurgical workshop rends and welds the unyielding element to create human forms of tremendous impact. A teacher of basic design and print making in academic life at the university, Mr. Wallace painted before becoming a sculptor. He arrived in Canada from Ireland eleven years ago and his work since then includes several on a religious theme, Lazarus and Hanging Thief, such mythical figures as Daedalus and a sculpture representing the wartime trials of the Jewish people and their hope in modern Israel. Other examples of Wallace's work are crucifixes, candlesticks and candelabra for churches. Present assignments for his work will keep him busy for many months (he is now working on a seven-foot-high figure of St. John the Divine for the church of the same name in London, Ontario) and immediate plans include a European tour to study Romanesque churches. George Wallace lives in Dundas, just outside Hamilton, with his wife and three children. That his sculptures, with their understandably steel-strong character, will gather growing, sustained recognition is in little doubt. His work, both in its fine creative accomplishment and its inherent physical permanence, is well-nigh indestructible.