October 24. Inauguration of "Access to Justice" Toronto. Canada

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.

A stunning backdrop of the Toronto skyline for Access to Justice.

A stunning backdrop of the Toronto skyline for Access to Justice.

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A picture of me and the wonderful Judge G Epstein: rock-solid in her enthusiasm for my sculpture

A picture of me and the wonderful Judge G Epstein: rock-solid in her enthusiasm for my sculpture

23rd October

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.

Dr. Sara Diamond, President & Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University, invites you to the launch of Redefining Public Art in Toronto, a collaborative research project between OCAD U and the University of Toronto. Please join Dr. Diamond and Dr. Daniel Silver, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, for a presentation and discussion of this blueprint for the future of public art in Toronto at our new professional Gallery, Onsite.  

Dr. Sara Diamond, President & Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University, invites you to the launch of Redefining Public Art in Toronto, a collaborative research project between OCAD U and the University of Toronto.

Please join Dr. Diamond and Dr. Daniel Silver, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, for a presentation and discussion of this blueprint for the future of public art in Toronto at our new professional Gallery, Onsite.

 

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October 22nd. "Access to Justice" is finally installed

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.

October 17th: An evening John McEwen and Marlene Hilton Moore

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.

October 4th: Access to Justice: Lafontaine Iron Werks: Ontario: Canada

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

October 4th. "Twister" - Suide Sculpture Symposium: China

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.

Heres a picture of the sandstone base of my sculpture in Suide. Various sections of the sculpture are strewn all about, so it will be a case stacking and orientating them into position to complete the sculpture: giant-jenna time...

Heres a picture of the sandstone base of my sculpture in Suide. Various sections of the sculpture are strewn all about, so it will be a case stacking and orientating them into position to complete the sculpture: giant-jenna time...

September 20 -23: Brussels, Belgium

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.

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This video is a snapshot of the opening reception in Brussels for the Sino-EU touring exhibition of contemporary sculpture based on the Terracotta Warriors

Sand blasting and tig-welding: September 14th

The corten steel section of the sculpture has now been sandblasted, and the stainless steel parts of the sculpture,(in a separate workshop to avoid metal contamination), is being tig-welded in preparation for the surfaces to be fixed and polished. 

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Fabrication phase of Access to Justice: September 10th

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.

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September 4th

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

The sculpture is a combination of stainless steel, corten steel and paint: each surface reflecting different characteristics of Ontario.

The sculpture is a combination of stainless steel, corten steel and paint: each surface reflecting different characteristics of Ontario.

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August 8 - 11th: New works on paper: "Slumps"

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".

My July visit to Venice to the Biennale was the catalyst for some additional landscapes to add the extensive body of work on mine exploring urban landscapes, and how we (the viewer) track ways of seeing.

My July visit to Venice to the Biennale was the catalyst for some additional landscapes to add the extensive body of work on mine exploring urban landscapes, and how we (the viewer) track ways of seeing.

61 x 420cm

61 x 420cm

My participation in the ISC Sculpture Conference in October 2016 allowed me to explore the connections between the historic industrial legacies of Corby (UK) and Pittsburgh (USA). The blast furnaces in PA were truly amazing and resulted in a series of new works on paper - "Slumps"

My participation in the ISC Sculpture Conference in October 2016 allowed me to explore the connections between the historic industrial legacies of Corby (UK) and Pittsburgh (USA). The blast furnaces in PA were truly amazing and resulted in a series of new works on paper - "Slumps"

Similarly, the enormous shipyards in Fuzhou, China, allowed me access to a vibrant working environment, with the tussle & bustle of dockyard activity that helped create this "Slump"

Similarly, the enormous shipyards in Fuzhou, China, allowed me access to a vibrant working environment, with the tussle & bustle of dockyard activity that helped create this "Slump"

Getting Started - 1st August 2017

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

https://collection.sina.cn/2017-07-20/detail-ifyihrit1042655.d.html?from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0

A digital image of my 4m tall proposed artwork is attached here:

 

A digital image of the proposal for Suide, China: 2017

A digital image of the proposal for Suide, China: 2017

And here are the series of mixed media drawings that relate to the sculpture.