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Christian Corbet

Christian Cardell Corbet
Christian Cardell Corbet (right)
Born (1966-01-31) 31 January 1966 (age 48)
Pickering Beach, (Ajax, Ontario), Canada
Nationality Canadian
Field Sculptor, painter and designer
Training University of Guelph, Private Mentorship under Dr. Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook
Movement Contemporary Realism, Abstract

Christian Cardell Corbet (born 31 January 1966) is a Canadian sculptor, painter and designer. He co-founded and was first President of the Canadian Portrait Academy.

Personal life

Born on 31 January 1966, at Pickering Beach, Ajax, Ontario, he was raised by his paternal grandparents A. J. Corbet II and Alice Charlotte Corbet (née Gould), descendants of a prominent family from Guernsey Channel Islands and a theatrical family from London, England respectively. At a very young age, he developed a strong interest in the fine arts while working with his grandfather on commercial signs. Due to increasingly ill health, chronic asthma, by the age of 14 he was not able to participate in regular sports like most children his age, so his grandparents along with his great uncle John Gould and great aunt Olive Gould strongly encouraged him to paint and sculpt. Being raised predominantly on the shores of Lake Ontario he always held a close fascination with water, water and ice formations and its power which to this very day has become a main theme for his paintings.

As Corbet's artistic career was just commencing his closest aunt Olive Gould died suddenly in 1995. Following this he divorced his first wife in 1997. This was then followed in 1999 by the tragedy of the death of his mother whose body was found in a remote barren field near Orangeville, Ontario. The passing of his mother was regarded as a suspicious suicide.[1]

Early career

In 1995 Corbet painted a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother which was presented to the Queen Mother on 4 July 1995 at Clarence House.[2] In 1996, Corbet was instrumental in securing a portrait of the Queen Mother created by a British Columbian artist into the Queen Mother's private collection.[3] In 1996, Corbet also met and was mentored by sculptor Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook,[4][5] His works include portrait paintings and sculptures of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Isabel McLaughlin and Doris McCarthy[2]

In 1997, Corbet painted a portrait a portrait of Canadian composer Jean Coulthard.[6] In 1998, Corbet sculpted a portrait of Jane Addams for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and later in 1999 he was appointed a Patron Artist for The International Dyslexia Association where he sculpted a portrait of Samuel Orton and Carl Kline and Carolyn Kline.[2][7] This sculpture titled: "The Dr. and Mrs. Carl L. Kline Award for Outstanding Service in the Field of Dyslexia" is an annual award.[8]

In 1999, Corbet was again inducted into "Who's Who in Canada - 90th Anniversary Edition" in the "Rising Stars" section. By this point in his career Corbet was represented in the following collections: HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, UK; Glamis Castle, Scotland; Abraham Brill Library, USA; Sigmund Freud Museum, UK; University of Guelph, Canada; City of North Vancouver, Canada; Seymour Art Gallery, Canada; Durham Board of Education, Canada; University of British Columbia, Canada; Lions Gate Hospital, Canada; CBC. Corp (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Canada.[2]

Portrait art

In 2000, Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook asked Corbet to create a sculpture based on an older 1979 liturgical drawing of hers. The sculpture titled "Glory Be Madonna and Child" was completed about two weeks before Bradford Holbrook died in March 2009. The bisque relief sculpture of was donated by Corbet to St. John's Anglican Church, Ancaster, Ontario.[9]

In 2006, Corbet's portrait of the Thomas Reuben Black was acquired by the Library of Parliament, Parliament of Canada.[10]

In 2008, Corbet was commissioned by the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy 25th Anniversary to create an authorized portrait of Sir Winston Churchill. Two maquettes of this medallion were presented to Lady Mary Soames and Celia Sandys.[11]He was also appointed to the Head Table at the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy 25th Anniversary Dinner seated with such notable people as former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell; Henry N. R. Jackman; Catherine Callbeck; Martha Hall Findlay among others. Corbet is pictured with his sculpture of Winston Churchill in a special limited edition publication with William Graham, Chancellor Trinity College.[12] His portrait of Margaret Atwood, created in 1998, was published on the front cover of Margaret Atwood and the Female Bildungsroman, written by Bath University professor Ellen McWilliams and published in 2009.[13]

In 2009, Corbet sculpted and painted a portrait of Guernsey poet and painter Denys Corbet.[14] The painting of Denys Corbet was unveiled at the Forest Douzaine on 30 May 2009.[15][16] In July 2009, Corbet had a solo exhibition at the Priaulx Library where the Bailiff of Guernsey, Channel Islands, Sir Geoffrey Rowland, unveiled a portrait of himself painted by Corbet.[17][18] In late 2009 Corbet created an authorized conte and pastel portrait of Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma which was unveiled by the Countess in Warwickshire, England in October.[19] The oil sketch is in the Canadian Portrait Academy Permanent Collection.[20]

Margaret Atwood Idea Idea is a mixed media painting exhibited at the Canadian Portrait Academy, Hycroft Mansion, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to mixed reviews. Later it was deposited into the CPA Permanent Collection. The 24 inch x 48 inch acrylic on canvas abstract portrait includes several real Peruvian butterflies affixed to it. The portrait was donated by the Canadian Portrait Academy in 2003 to the University of British Columbia.

In 2009, Ellen McWilliams of Bath Spa University used the portrait for the front cover of her book Margaret Atwood and the Female Bildungsroman.[21]

Between 2010 and 2011 Corbet created over 17 portrait sculptures of such noted subjects as Oscar Niemeyer, Rise Stevens, Michael Ignatieff, Walter Allward, Sir Admiral Charles Kingsmill, Hon. Jack Layton, Aung San Suu Kyi among others. In October 2011 Corbet was Guest of Honour of the Royal Canadian Navy where Corbet and Rear Admiral Norman unveiled a commissioned portrait bust of Chief Petty Officer Max Bernays at HMCS Bytown, Ottawa.[22][23] Corbet currently is represented in over 80 selected museums and art galleries world wide.[24]

Forensic art

In 2003, Corbet commenced working with Andrew Nelson, Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario and colleagues on the Sulman Mummy Project which was originally brought back from Egypt by George William Sulman a merchant living in Chatham, Ontario. Corbet was asked to sculpt the full forensic facial reconstruction of the 2,2000 mummy.[25] The project was featured on several episodes of The Discovery Channel's, Daily Planet (TV series), and received worldwide attention.[26][27][28] Corbet was lauded by the Rt. Hon. Ms. Helene Chalifour Scherrer, Minister of Canadian Heritage for his work with the Sulman Mummy.[29] On 16 January 2004, the Chatham-Kent Museum unveiled the mummy.[30] [31] The Sulman Mummy Project was a joint effort between the Chatham-Kent Museum, Department of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario, St. Joseph's Health Centre, Robarts Research Institute, the National Research Council of Canada, the Drafting Clinic Canada Ltd., and sculptor Christian Cardell Corbet.[32][33]

As Artist in Residence at the University of Western Ontario Corbet was asked to create a comparative forensic facial reconstruction of a Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt mummy belonging to the Royal Ontario Museum.[34]

In January 2011 Corbet's three dimensional facial reconstruction of an Irish born WWI soldier who died during the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917 was identified as Pte. Thomas Lawless and announced by the Department of National Defence. Corbet was lauded for his work having received letters and special messages from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Kathy Dunderdale Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Minister of National Defence Hon. Peter MacKay, Amit Chakma, President & Vice-Chancellor of UWO among others. Corbet received a special invitation to attend the Full Military Burial in France. The forensic portrait sculpture of Pte. Thomas Lawless was unveiled at the Gallipoli Armoury, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador and hosted by the 2nd Newfoundland Regiment.[35][36][37][38][39][40] A CT and Laser scan was performed on the forensic facial reconstruction of Corbet's portrait of Lawless at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in April 2011 undertaken by Dr. Gavin White and Hilda Stephen.[41]

In October 2011 Brock University exhibited forensic facial reconstruction drawings of Sir Isaac Brock by Corbet.[42][43]

In 2011 Corbet also presented a lecture and demonstration on his role as a forensic artist at the Canadian War Museum for part of their War and Medicine Exhibition and Remembrance Week Programming.[44][45]

Public and family roles

Corbet is also regarded as a benefactor having made donations to institutions such as the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery of Guernsey Pottery from part of his vast collection.[46][47]

In his family role Corbet is the patriarch. Corbet takes this position quite seriously as he acts on behalf of the Corbet family attending public functions and performing public duties. In 2009, Corbet was the first Canadian Judge at the Annual Bonny Baby Competition in the Vale Parish, Guernsey, Channel Islands.[17] In 2007, Corbet donated a bronze medallion of Saint Michael (also known historically as S. Michel du Valle Church) to The Vale Church.

In 2009, he donated The Corbet Family Tree, a European Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica), in memory of all Corbet's and descendants to come.[48] to his ancestral church The Vale Church, Guernsey, Channel Islands. On 13 July 2009, Lady Diana Rowland officially planted the tree.[49]

In July 2009, Corbet buried his paternal grandparents ashes in the family plot in Guernsey, Channel Islands. The service was officiated by the Vice Dean of Guernsey.[48]


2012 - Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal[50][51]


External links

  • Official website

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