Uncovering Spirit

Donna Naven

 Artist Statement:


I am a stone carver. Earth’s rocks have always been with us and for at least 30,000 years, humans have manipulated stones to provide meaning. The 25,000 year old stone figure of the Mother Earth Goddess is my inspiration. I have always collected stones from BC beaches and admired their solid strength and the long history of events that put them there. The evolving story of each stone suggests the beauty and secrets lying under the weathered surface. My carvings are attempts to uncover these underlying features. Like my ancestors before me, this often involves imbuing the stone with some animus type of characteristic to give it a recognizable spirit or soul. I am sometimes uncertain whether I project this figure onto the stone or does the stone  guide my tools in order to release its inner self? I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between. In successful cases, the result is a softer more pliable feel to the stone as though it might be alive.  I try to add a sense of playfulness and humour to the figure, which enhances the stone’s story and helps us to feel a heart connection with it.



Donna Naven

Donna Naven studied stone carving with Master Jade Carver Debora Wilson, and with masters Michael Binkley and George Pratt. Donna began carving stone ten years ago. To better draw out these beings, she began using diamond bits, which allow her to carve deeper into the stone.

She found mentors and peers and developed the stone carving craft by attending arts festivals, including the Filberg Festival in Comox, symposiums such as those at the West Coast Sculpture Association, and at the Stone Carving Forums.

Donna’s work is currently on display at the Campbell River Art Gallery, at Circle Craft Coop in Vancouver, and at Comox Valley Art Gallery in Courtenay. Her carvings are held in private collections throughout Salish Sea communities and far beyond.

For inquiries, she can be reached at naven@stonepresence.com or at her website: www.stonepresence.com

To view the slideshow, click on any image, then fullscreen and play. To scroll through images, use arrow keys.

Photographic images by Richard Trueman. Bio photo by Walter Nugent.