Shane displays his unique talent

Shane Bower with his huge artwork "The Ratu Warrior" during the Born from Fire exhibition at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Tuesday, October 08, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

IT took a while to get his work recognised, but it was worth every effort he put into his craft.

Shane Bower, a metal sculptor and contemporary artist, wowed many art lovers at the Born from Fire exhibition with his intricate and detailed sculptures borne from years of practice and passion.

The artist could only smile and soak in the attention as many distinguished guests congratulated him on a work well done.

The Born from Fire considered for its distinctive and superb artwork was launched at the Grand Pacific Hotel, in Suva on Tuesday, October 8 and opened to the public until Sunday, October 13.

It brings together the artistic talents of Fiji’s internationally acclaimed 3-dimensional artists in – glassblower Alice Hill from Hot Glass Fiji, metal sculptor Shane Bower from Imagination in Metal and the flamboyant guest artist, Lambert Ho.

After the success of their 2017 collaborative exhibition The Art of Glass and Metal – Shane and Alice have consistently amazed with their array of artworks, by holding 2018 follow up with From Ocean to Forest, which explored Fiji’s natural wonders and this year’s exhibition Reflections of Viti.

Reflection of Fiji showcases some new works that are inspired by Fiji’s cultural and historical heritage. Like last year where they had the guest artist Sonny Sofe’s intricate carved balabala pieces, the Born from Fire this year features the flamboyant artist, Lambert Ho, whose many creations are collected and kept by art lovers around the world.

For Shane, it was the massive Ratu Warrior piece that drew curious onlookers at the launch. The piece took five to six months to complete.

“It’s the Fijian history and culture that inspires me,” he said.

“The ideas are all in my mind, it comes to me when I’m thinking of something and it goes from there.”

The self-described Suva boy who plies his trade in Savusavu claims his artistic side is drawn from his mother’s side – Karen Bower, a painter.

“You have to have an eye for detail and proportion when you’re doing this work,” he said.

“Normally for artists, it’s a hobby. It was a hobby for me, and it took me a while to take it seriously and it ended up being my main source of income.

“It’s very difficult to do. You have to learn it and be able to get into it, and enjoy the passion.”

Mr Bower has been working artistically for more than 20 years.

A favourite piece of his is the commemorative monument currently displayed at the University of the South Pacific. The monument is a combination of the wing float from Sunderland flying boat and Albatross, which is part of the No. 5 Squadron insignia – a recognition of the service of veterans from the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) Laucala Bay Station of flying boats, from 1941 to 1967.

The piece of work took him four months to complete.

“It took a while to get my name out there and now I’m glad that people recognise the artistic element of metal and copper,” he said.

Mr Bower sources his copper and metal from a company that orders it from Australia and New Zealand. He is displaying about 14 to 15 of his pieces at the Born from Fire.

The exhibition is held in the Rara Lounge of the iconic Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva until the evening of Sunday, October 13.

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