My name is Michael James Woodcock. I am a Canadian, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and raised in Ladner, a small fishing community on the South West Coast. From my early childhood, I have been drawn to the physical beauty of my surroundings.
I spent ten years commercial salmon fishing off the West Coast of Canada, where there is a rich heritage of native Indian art. During that time, I continued to develop the carving and sketching skills that I began as a child, building upon traditional motifs used by NW coast native artists. Because fishing in Canada was a seasonal activity, I was able to use my free time to travel, and began wandering regularly overseas to Asia in 1985. I worked in the Philippines and Australia, where exposure to different cultures further developed my ability to integrate cultural influences into my work. I was beginning to appreciate the beauty found elsewhere.
In 1994, Marie, my wife, a development worker with CARE International, and I were offered the opportunity to live in Bangladesh. This gave me the chance to focus completely on my art, and to develop my skills in different mediums. This was a very productive time. I was able to direct my total energy to transforming ideas into various art forms. Eight months after arriving in Bangladesh, I held my first solo exhibition of oils, watercolors and wood sculptures. The response from the both the art community, and patrons, was very positive. I was welcomed by Bangladeshi artists, who shared their love of art with a stranger.
Since moving permanently overseas, we have spent those two years in Dhaka, two and a half years in Angoche, Mozambique, three years in Cairo, Egypt and are currently living in Tbilisi, Georgia. I have continued to receive support and encouragement from artists and patrons alike.
The considerable time I have spent in Asia and Africa has helped me to observe and appreciate different forms of beauty found in the physical and cultural environment everywhere I have been. I have learned to pay attention to the small details, particular to my everyday life, and feel challenged to capture them into my art.
I have regularly displayed my art at public exhibitions. In Canada, my artistic focus was sculpting, where I successfully obtained 2 major awards in a group exhibit. Since then I have participated in various major group exhibitions and held several solo exhibitions of my paintings. My works are in galleries, private and corporate collections in Asia, Africa, Canada, Europe and USA.