Black Rhinoceros, 1988
• nootka marble
• 7” H x 15” W x 6” D (18cm H x 38cm W x 15cm D)
• private collection, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Sculptor Michael Binkley carved this black rhinoceros many years ago, but it is one of his artworks that has enduring appeal.
Binkley used a variety of marble that was quarried at Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Nootka Sound is where Captain James Cook first landed when he was exploring the west coast of North America in 1778. The marble quarry there when defunct after WWII, but Binkley managed to buy several tons of the stone from a dealer in Vancouver in 1982. Nootka marble is characterized by its soft grey background colour with striations of black and white.
Binkleyl thought this marble would be perfect to emulate the skin of a rhino. The artist took advantage of a strong white vein in the stone and carved the sculpture so this feature accentuated the forward motion of this African animal. The heavy muscled legs, powerful neck and prominent twin horns that typify this mammal are evident.