Bosnian-born, Croatian-Canadian artist Renato Berlanda started creating art after the war, and emigrated to Canada in 1996. As a newcomer to Canada who didn’t speak English, art was a medium Renato could communicate in. While he does not have formal training in the arts, Renato has always been involved in designing, creating and building things.
“I have been mentored or apprenticed by others in the construction industry, or have been self-taught how to work with the materials used in my art.”
Earlier sculptures were made from sheet metal and objects found in nature, reflecting Renato’s relationship with the outdoors. Many of Renato’s pieces are made with materials he uses in construction. For example, the paint he uses is household paint; sculptures are made from drywall mud, expansion foams, plywood, concrete and wood — everything he uses in daily work. While pieces are imagined from living people, the expression Renato aims to capture is a moment in time when the body surrenders itself to the infinity of multiple expression.
“I use many different mediums, such as clay, acrylics, concrete, plaster, metal and other materials found in construction. For me, working in a single medium is restrictive to my artistic process. Each idea manifests in its own individual style and changes the feeling with different materials. The art of sculpting and design becomes alive by mixing mediums. More recently, I’ve been experimenting with clay, and the shadows I can create with suspended pieces created with a PLA filament and 3D pen. PLA is a type of polyester made from fermented plant starch from corn, cassava, maize, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp. The sugar in these renewable materials is fermented and turned into lactic acid, which is then made into polylactic acid, or PLA.”