Video

You might find this kid's art pretty scary, but he politely disagrees

Callum Donovan Grujicich's sculptures are the result of experimenting, using his imagination and learning how to express himself through his art.

'I had to figure out how to make them because I’d never seen anything like this before'

In this video, you'll meet Callum Donovan Grujicich in his studio and on one of his foraging trips with his brother — and see why the 12-year-old's sculptures are turning heads. 2:58

Callum Donovan Grujicich is 12 years old. He prefers making art to explaining it, and he's completely aware that you might find his own artworks kind of creepy. But they're not at all frightening to him. They're the result of experimenting, scavenging for materials, using his imagination and learning how to express himself through his art (he's self-taught).

The dolls Callum makes — or "figurative sculptures" as he prefers to call them — are detailed pieces that evoke storybook worlds and rich symbolism. But Callum would rather not speak to meaning in his work when people ask him. He says, "I want people to decide what they think it means, instead of me telling them."

And they mean a lot, even in terms of their individual parts — rusted metal pieces and clothing that Callum sews himself, often using fabric and found materials he collects from family and friends.

(CBC Arts)

In this video, you'll meet Callum in his studio and on one of his foraging trips with his brother (which, by the way, are not art-exclusive — Callum loves turtles and likes to visit the conservation area near his home to catch and release them). You'll also see why he was recently awarded the Medal for The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, where he was the youngest Canadian to win a medal and the only Canadian to win one for sculpture. And of course, we're pretty sure you'll see why we think he's fantastic.

Follow Callum's journey here — his work has also been exhibited at the Whitby Station Gallery and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Whitby, Ontario as well as being featured in several editions of Art Doll Quarterly.

Additional cinematography by Steve McLoughlin.

Watch Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

About the Author

Priscilla Galvez and Jeff Pavlopoulos

Priscilla Galvez is a Toronto-based Producer and Director. Most recently, she produced the BravoFACT short film The Emissary and is currently in post-production on a sci-fi action short The Drop In for Bell Media. Priscilla is in development on the web-series Off Kilter with director Alejandro Alvarez Cadilla as well as directing and co-writing the short film Wolf Alice, based on the short story by Angela Carter. Jeff Pavlopoulos is a Toronto-based writer, director and cinematographer striving to encounter the unfamiliar in the everyday. He is currently developing a short series, Secret Chiefs, about the invisible ties that bind us to one another, and the hidden, sometimes dangerous world that exists all around us.