Creativity in Art and Science

Hi!   I am Peter Hackett an artist and a woodturner in Victoria on Vancouver Island.  Tree Island Studio represents the second of two paths I have followed, exploring my creativity in Art and Science.

Initially, I was streamed into science, technology, and innovation.   I was a research scientist specializing in chemical physics, lasers and nanotechnology.   I became Vice-president Research of the National Research Council of Canada.  Later, I came to  Alberta, to head up a research funding agency.

I ended my career as Executive Professor in the Business School at the University of Alberta and as a Fellow of the National Institute for Nanotechnology.  I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  I hold another three fellowships from the UK, Japan and Canada.

I put this this all aside when I retired.   I took a completely new path, working with my hands and eyes. I began in Edmonton with carved sculpture in wood.  When I came to Victoria, in 2018 I began woodturning.

I make sculptural and free flowing functional pieces that satisfy my love of the curve.   I also like to create whimsy or to make a statement about the world.  My style is minimalist.  So far, I avoid excessive decoration and ornamentation.

I use only local woods given to me by local people:  over 40 different species. Each has a distinct character that an artist can explore and celebrate.

On both paths I have found that you make better progress in the company of fellow travellers who share the same goals.  This was never so true as during my time at the NRC.  However, it is also true at the studio.   I have learned from my wise and generous mentor, Wayne Anaka and other members of our local guild, The Island Woodturners Guild.  Ken Broadland at Heartwood Studios has also been very generous with his time and support.

Now, I am happy to pay it forward by helping others out whenever I can.  I very much enjoy giving lessons to new turners entering the craft.