Growing up in the Bundaberg Region, Shane Christensen never imagined his wood carving hobby would last a lifetime and become his passion.
Shane’s wood carving has given him the opportunity to travel to other countries, and he has artwork and sculptures all along the east coast of Australia.
He said it was more than two decades ago when he took inspiration from the late Nobby Clark who had created thousands of wood sculptures, from life-size turtles to complex miniature pieces of art.
“The first thing Nobby asked me to carve was a fish, out of a piece of Mango he gave me,” Shane said.
“I did this at home by myself and brought it back to Nobby a few days later, from memory he seemed pleasantly surprised.
“Last week I was carving a large Barramundi to be installed in Gladstone, along the new foreshore project,” he said.
“While carving the Barramundi I reflected on the small fish carving I did for Nobby over 20 years ago.
“20 years on, I have refined my own techniques, but still remember what I was shown, the guidance from a master carver.”
Shane, who also uses a chainsaw to create his masterpieces, said his largest piece of work was installed at Griffith University on the Gold Coast, and it weighed in at a massive 350kg of hardwood and was home to native bees.
“Shaped into a giant Indigenous warrior, a creation spirit for Kombumeri mob, traditional custodians in the area,” Shane said.
“The giant is named Jabreen, and he has a box of stingless bees installed inside the sculpture, honey can be harvested from the sculpture.”
Shane said he had now been a full-time artist for about three years, “carving a living”, and supporting his family in a humble life near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.
“My sculptures are found as far south as Mildura in Victoria, and as far north as Cairns,” he said.
“I recently came back from a playground project in a school in Cairns, the students loved the noise and excitement.
“I often wonder if I inspire any of the next generation to think outside the box – one of the mysteries of life is we never really know who we’ve inspired!”
Shane will often return to the Bundaberg Region to see family, and takes in the beautiful coastline while here.
“I snorkel or surf when I do, I learnt to surf at Nielsen’s Beach many moons ago,” he said.
“I went to high school in Bundaberg, and failed art class miserably, but I’m now a full time artist.
“If I could impart anything for the younger generation of artists, I’d encourage them to ‘think outside the box’ – if your dream, creative job doesn’t exist yet, make one up.
“If you have enough passion or interest about something, you will learn exceptionally fast, and people will support you to walk your own path.”
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