You might find this kid's art pretty scary, but he politely disagrees
'I had to figure out how to make them because I’d never seen anything like this before'
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.
In this video, part of the Art Kids series, 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.
Art Kids is a CBC Arts series that travels the country to find the next generation of groundbreaking creators in arts from painting, to dance, to poetry. Their accomplishments will amaze you — and might make you feel a little bad about yourself. But that's okay.
Watch Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.