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

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

LETTER: Council shouldn’t impede recreational cannabis sales

Everyone should get to play, not just the chosen few, says letter writer

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

The book club master

Nelson’s Hazel Mousley takes book clubs to the next level

Glacier freezes competition in Spokane

The gymnastics club returned home with 35 medals

Remembering the man who carved Nelson’s iconic welcome signs

Art Waldie did the majority of the work on the signs in the 1970s

LVR Bombers fundraising for 3 players

Rugby teams hope to help trio of students go on tour in March

Gryphon Trio coming to Nelson

Artists here for first time since 2013

Festival of the Arts invites student applications

The deadline is January 31, with a late fee until February 10

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Most Read