Fine Art Furniture

August 21, 2008

By Mike Landry

One of Alisdair MacRae's handbuilt peices of furniture.

The Shakers may be so celibate they’re on the brink of extinction, but they’ve fathered a killer show from Ottawa’s Alisdair MacRae.

The installation artist has built 20 pieces of furniture from original, found and Shakers designs for a solo exhibition titled A Thousand Years to Live. The title comes from a quote from the Shakers’ Mother Ann Lee who said, “Do all your work as though you had a thousand years to live; and as you would if you knew you must die tomorrow.”

“They lived this incredibly chaste hardworking lifestyle. I can’t stay I really aspire to it, but there’s a certain appeal,” says MacRae. “[The quote] puts you in a frame of mind where you want to take time with things and have patience, but at the same time make the most use of whatever hours you have in a day.”

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