Journeys end today with the inauguration of my sculpture for McMurtry Gardens of Justice here in Toronto. This has been an epic journey over the past 4 years and something of a "sprint" over the past 9 months to get the work completed and installed. My thanks to Lafontaine Iron Werks . for their help with this, and to Toronto Art Restoration (TAR) for recommending Mike Bilyk as the fabricator. I'm grateful for all the positive comments I have thus so far received about the sculpture over the past few days whilst installing Access to Justice outside the Law Society, not least to Judge Gloria Epstein, whose vision for a sculpture garden first took shape in 2010. McMurty Gardens of Justice is testimony to her vision and determination to transform a pedestrian thoroughfare into a sculpture garden: giving the Law Courts a real sense of place.
Its great to be invited along to the Redefining Public Art meeting at OCAD, which coincides with the completion of my sculpture for McMurtry Gardens of Justice.
It was interesting to read Grayson Perry's recent book about the art-world and in particular what ingredients go to make an artist: its well worth a read.
After four years of negotiations and what has been a 100m sprint this year to get the sculpture ready to coincide with Canada's 150th Anniversary and Access to Justice week in Toronto, my sculpture is now in place. There's some cleaning up to do and a little bit of fine tuning, so I'm grateful to Lafontaine Iron Werks inc for their determination and perseverance to the cause!
Im a great fan of the silent movies, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin et al, so perhaps this short movie is the best way to introduce my sculpture to those of you out there who are interested.
I managed to catch-up with two of Canada's premier sculptors yesterday evening and visit their respective studios here in Ontario. They are both based in a small township close to Midland and have wonderful studio spaces where they create their work.
We've had a few delays this week with polishing issues, but are now back on track for a full installation next week, which is a relief!
However, I thought you might enjoy this short video of the Phase One installation of Access to Justice in Downtown Toronto. https://vimeo.com/238075915
This week see's the installation of my sculpture Access to Justice at McMurtry Gardens of Justice in Toronto. This has been a challenging and at the same time exciting project, particularly one this year where I've had chance to work with Mike Bilyk and his team at Lafontaine Iron Werks here near the visually stunning Lake Georgia. The painting of the doors has been completed and we will be assembling the corten and stainless steel section of the sculpture, prior to installation on Saturday.
Above are the two key maquettes I made for for Access to Justice, together with a render of the artwork into the McMurty Gardens locale. The task will be to bring all of this together in the final public artwork
Its great to see how well Suide has recovered from its recent eco-disaster earlier in the summer, and that we have managed to get this far with my new sandstone sculpture for the International Stone Symposium. This next two weeks will be interesting because by the end of it I will have three versions of Twister/Sentinel exhibited in three different continents: one in Belgium, anther in New York State, and the other in China. All are different scales and mediums: more news to follow.
The opening of the Dialogue with the Emperor Qin's Warriors exhibition in Brussels got off to a great start, and I was delighted to receive sponsorship from the British Council to attend the exhibition, and see Brussels for the first time: what a great place!
Alison Rose attended the reception party on behalf of the British Embassy, and Isabelle Van de Gejuchte represented the British Council. Wang Honglin (Minister: Mission of China to the EU) gave a memorable opening speech emphasising the vitality of international research in this 35000 populated University, and how often culture leads and business opportunities follows.
I've been here in Canada for the past few days and work on the stainless steel sections of the sculpture as well as the corten element are progressing well. I'v attached a few images of the process in order to illustrate the technical rigorous required to ensure the frame of the stainless steel remains flat in preparation for the 3mm skins of 316 to be fixed.
I've attached a few pictures of the location where I am in Tiny Ontario, as well as pictures of Mike Bilyk and me, and Andrew and me in his workshop.
I've just completed the scale model for Access to Justice and attach two pictures here. More information about the project is available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/access-justice-john-atkin-john-atkin
...who would argue with her...
Because of the unhappy events in Suide, there was an opportunity to develop some large scale works on paper. Some of these artworks relate to my travels over the past few years, and others are derived from museum & gallery visits in this country and overseas. The "Slumps" are an interesting departure for me, and relate to some existing research of mine (EPSRC - Bridging the Gaps)exploring "eye tracking".
The news has come through of the awful disaster in Suide. Attached is a video of the flood catastrophe, so the Symposium is on hold until after the clear-up operation. Click the link to find out more.
The year has got off to a great start with a new series of mixed-media drawings relating to the International Sculpture Symposium, Suide, China, organised by Tsinghua University (Beijing), China. The Symposium includes artists from Mexico, USA, France, Romania, Italy, Bulgaria, South Korea, China, and the UK. The link below outlines all the Symposium participants, as well as an outline of the work they will prepare for the project, August 11th to August 28th
A digital image of my 4m tall proposed artwork is attached here:
And here are the series of mixed media drawings that relate to the sculpture.