Sounding Humpback, 1989

• nootka sound marble & granite
• 30” H x 42” W x 18” D (76cm H x 107cm W x 46cm D)
• corporate collection of Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver, BC, Canada

michael binkley sculptor sculpture original fine art gallery vancouver canada marble wildlife humpback whale

In 1989,  Catriona Jefferies Gallery in Vancouver, BC, Canada secured a commission for Binkley to carve a large humpback whale sculpture. The patron was Clark Wilson LLP, a prominent Vancouver law firm.

Binkley chose to use a variety of marble that was quarried at Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. The patron was keen that a local artist was going to use a locally sourced stone for the project. Nootka marble is predominantly light grey in colour with various striations of black and white. Binkley felt the colours would best suit the subject of a humpback whale, as the colour patterns resemble light as it filters through ocean waves onto humpbacks in the wild.

Binkley composed the whale after it has taken a breath and is diving down, or sounding back into the ocean depths. Binkley carved the sculpture in the round, but left webbing between the long pectoral flippers and the belly of the whale for support. He carved this webbing area to have the appearance of a natural rock. The sculptor created a silky smooth matte surface for the whale and left the webbing with a flat chisel finish. The sculpture is mounted on a black granite base and secured against cantilever by a hidden steel pin.

In 2006, Clark Wilson LLP commissioned Binkley to carve another piece for their collection, “Barn Owl.” These two sculptures grace the reception area of the law firm.

Michael Binkley