When still living in the Netherlands, Gilbert visited around the Mediterranean and his most awesome experience was snorkeling in clear waters of the Balearic Islands off Spain, true adventure in diving with schools of giant Bluefin Tuna.
In 1969 in Nova Scotia he again found and relived these experiences with the Bluefin Tuna in St. Margaret's Bay. His former experience brought him in contact with The National Geographic Society providing an opportunity in assisting their star underwater photographer David Doubilet and learning the trade from the world's best.
This inspiration led to taking up the specialty and choosing to focus on the underwater worlds of North Atlantic Wilderness rivers and the Coastal Waters of our Maritime Canada, still today harboring the now endangered Atlantic salmon and the Giant Bluefin Tuna.
The Personal experience of hurricane Juan in Halifax, Nova Scotia was a howling, thundering sound effect shaking our house and our neighbourhood, had plenty of evidence that a destructive giant galloped by that night, leaving our city and countryside in chaos...
The evening before our weatherman announced - "a monster is approaching us" - and as I walked amongst the destruction the next morning, I discovered the abstract image of a dragon hanging down from a tree across the street. The inspiration hit me that moment and a new path in my artistic career was set.
Juan the Hurricane Monster - took shape in the form of a fantasy Tyrannosaurus Rex in our Mahone Bay barn, where he was built over the winter from a hurricane downed tree in Dartmouth and driftwood from the South Shore of Nova Scotia. He surprised the public for several summer seasons when displayed in our Mahone Bay front garden as the famous effigy of the mythical Oceanic Monster that rose out of the Atlantic.
By public encouragement the artist built a new sculpture every winter, and the growing exhibit became famous throughout the region for both our own local people and visitors from afar. The time came to provide a secure roofing over this new artistic phenomenon and the Studio Gallery was built.
Two-mirror Kaleidoscope Exhibit of Ocean Monsters in his Studio Gallery.
Featuring emerging Ocean Monsters on the Atlantic Coast of Canada.
The Kaleidoscope Exhibit today presents a fantasy of oceanic space inspired by a lifetime of observation in deep sea diving, interest in paleontology and a vivid artistic imagination.
Mirrors in a Multi Media Art Application
At an earlier time in the career of the artist, the medium for intricate glass-cut works of nautical design exhibited in his gallery featured different subjects: examples of worldwide shipping history in multimedia Murals; his Adventure experiences of diving and hand feeding Giant Bluefin Tuna in St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia; his Underwater Photography presenting Atlantic oceanic waters, and an extensive exhibition of Atlantic Salmon rivers and the coral reefs of the South Atlantic, as well as the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
His Mirror Glass art, exhibited in a separate gallery reflects native and exotic species.
Eco Time Rocks
Eco Time Rocks Collections are diamond engraved beach rocks from the Atlantic coast, also found on gravel banks of Maritime Canada's salmon rivers, presenting designs of precious aquatic life indicative for vital natural freshwater resources in Canada and worldwide.
Prominent is the Atlantic Salmon, as a symbolic indicator of vital natural freshwater resources. The Atlantic sturgeon representing a prehistoric species is a rarity in our rivers and lakes. East Coast whales, the Bluefin tuna, swordfish, and well known species from the North Atlantic fisheries are also engraved in stone.
A lifetime of specializing on the North Atlantic Waters has made his work recognized worldwide.
Today, Gilbert van Ryckevorsel looks back on a life of adventure unique for his time.