“My name is Brian and I’m homeless, but I can do this with your scrap wire”. The electrical contractor took one look at Brian’s twisted metal tree and said, “wow! If you can use it to help you get off the street, be my guest, it’s all yours”. That was a lifetime ago. Today Brian’s incredible twisted tree art pieces can be found in some of the finest galleries and wineries in BC.
The tree guy of Forrest Wire, Brian Boyer now resides in Prince George, BC. He is one of the most prolific artists and is always branching out with his creations to add both light and dimension to his beautiful tree designs. If you’re lucky you’ll get to see him outside, even in cold temperatures working madly on his pieces, know that he is not crazy; he’s a very sincere artist who helps the homeless whenever he can.
Brian’s story is an inspirational one. After losing his mother at 14, he found himself living in a tree back in Niagra Falls. “I suppose I have a special bond with the tree form because of that”. He ambled by in life, migrating west, had a family and business; he struggled when dealt some tough cards then unfortunately hit rock bottom. “I lost everything. I was a drunk and I was homeless.” Brian found himself waiting at the welfare office for an emergency fund grant of $20, when he saw a scrap bin beside the lineup. He had made trees before from recycled TV wire, “which are the most beautiful candy red wires”, and making trees felt therapeutic and calmed his stressed nerves.
The response to his incredible wire trees was phenomenal at the office and it gave Brian an idea and some encouragement. He went over to the electrical contractors and introduced himself and his work. The electrical contractors were impressed with Brian’s piece and they fully supported his creative endeavor by providing him with tons of scrap wire.
True to his word, Brian worked. He stripped and twisted, and designed and lit the wires into something magnificent. “The trees gave me hope.” As he worked outside, crowds would grow around him watching as he used his hands to pull and tort the metal into just the right place. He sold them, hundreds of them and rebuilt his life.
Brian moved out of Surrey to Penticton, where he worked at a winery who also discovered and sold his Forrest Wire trees. Then the 557 Artist Block Gallery in Penticton happened upon him and they started carrying and selling his artworks. He began talking to predominate magazines about his amazing art and story. And so Brian became the artist he is, honest, humbled and excited each time his trees bring someone else joy.
Eventually Brian found love, and he moved to Prince George, BC where he lives with a wonderful woman; and of course he still makes the trees that gave him new hope. Today Brian’s twisted wire trees and prints can be found at Ridge Side Art, Direct Art and the Two Rivers Gallery.
Find out more about Brian and follow his journey on his Forrest Wire Facebook page; or if your lucky you can meet him out and about with a tree in his hand.