Husband, dad, carpenter moonlights… on art

Andrew Lindell just put the wraps on an East York exhibition that marked his return to showing his art.
Andrew Lindell just put the wraps on an East York exhibition that marked his return to showing his art. (Photo by Joanne Kaileh) (Lindell)

After coming home from his day job and putting the kids to bed, Andrew Lindell heads to his garage and gets to work.

A scenic carpenter by day, the East York resident spends his evenings producing art.

“I don’t work (on art) during the day because I have a profession,” he said. “My first priority is my kids and my house, so I go out after that’s all finished.”

Lindell, 53, is a contemporary artist whose latest exhibition, Curve 2, just wrapped up at the Corridor Gallery at Centennial College’s East York campus.

Lindell creates art through previously used found materials and combines them into three-dimensional sculptures. Each piece is a symbol that has a deep meaning and tells a personal story to the viewer.

“It doesn’t make a huge environmental impact,” he said. “It’s more the symbolism of taking something that would be cast away and then reusing it.”

Despite being exposed to art from an early age, Lindell didn’t start creating his own until he was in an industrial accident over 10 years ago. He was off work for six months, which gave him the opportunity to focus on art.

“When I was younger, I remembered that Evel Knievel – he was a stuntman,” he said. “Whenever he was injured, he would paint and do art, so I thought I’d try and do some pieces myself.”

After creating enough work, Lindell had his first exhibition, called Curve 1, at Gallery 1313. While it was a success, he decided to take time off from his art to focus on his family and personal life. And now, 10 years later, Lindell is back to what he enjoys doing.

David McClyment, co-ordinator of the Fine Arts program at Centennial College, believes Lindell is really making a comeback.

“He hadn’t shown in a long time. He’s looking to get back to doing this seriously.  I think his work is fabulous; it deserves to be out there in the world,” McClyment said.

“His art is almost like a paradox. On the one hand, I like the colour and the rhythm and the texture. I like the freedom, almost the naivety in terms of producing those shapes. On the other hand, and this is where the paradox comes, they’re exquisitely crafted.“

While Lindell draws from his personal experiences of living in the Canadian Arctic and his family, he hopes his art can speaks to others in a positive way.

“What I try to do is make something that improves on somebody’s life,” he said. “A little icon, something to wake up in the morning, look at and make their day go by or changes their life in a better way.”