John McKinnon’s bronze bears are “doing things bears would not normally do. It’s more like how you would play with a kid, so it gives … a sense of nurturing.” Photo: Michael Dill

Nelson sculptor creates work for children’s chemo ward

John McKinnon was one of 60 artists chosen to create work for B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

The assignment from B.C. Children’s Hospital was to create a sculpture that would be healing for children.

“I wanted to make something that would express a sense of comfort and would be inviting,” says Nelson sculptor John McKinnon.

“But at the same time, it was my intention to make a piece that would have the attributes of a sculpture in a classical sense.”

McKinnon was one of 60 artists from across the country selected to create artwork for the new Teck Acute Care Centre at the Vancouver hospital. The artists were chosen by a panel of children, parents, doctors, and nurses.

“The committee wanted me to create an interactive piece, so I am expecting that it will be climbed on by many children for a long time.”

McKinnon’s Bear Suite #1 is placed on a balcony outside the chemotherapy ward. He said the mother bear and her cub are anthropomorphic.

“They are doing things bears would not normally do. It’s more like how you would play with a kid, so it gives it a sense of beyond animals playing. It gives a sense of nurturing. I tried to create something playful and happy.”

The bears are made of forged bronze. Cast bronze would have been too expensive, McKinnon says, so he tried a technique new to him.

The piece is constructed of sheets of bronze that are forged, shaped, and welded together over a skeleton made of bronze rods. The outside surface is made of 3/32”-thick bronze sheets.

“There are probably about 2,000 pieces in there, and it got a little complicated with the compound curves, so it took a while. It was a great learning experience for me because it is a whole new medium.”

The well-known veteran artist says he’s been a sculptor “since I was born. I was always making stuff.”

He was a student at the original Kootenay School of the Arts in 1970.

“It cost $130 per year and all the materials were paid for. It was an amazing three years of my life and I’ve been trying to make my living at it since then.”

 

Just Posted

ASC approves their work plan and reviews spatial analysis

FireWise Consulting Ltd. provided an overview of two components for the ASC to consider.

Hospice continues to serve

For more than 30 years, volunteers with the Creston Valley Hospice Society… Continue reading

Local singers to perform in Carnegie Hall, NY

Boundless vocal ensemble which features 10 singers from Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, and Creston, BC

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

Bad behaviour dominates police week

Bad behaviour, some fueled by alcohol, was the running theme as Creston RCMP responded to 57 calls for assistance from April 10-17, Staff Sergeant Ryan Currie said on Tuesday.

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Most Read