Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Floating paintings next project for Ice Gate artist

Lotus in Motion,the Watercolour Project
debuts at VanDusen Botanical Gardens

Sunshine Coast artist Gordon Halloran, who created the wall of ice paintings called Ice Gate for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, will bring another brilliantly coloured outdoor public art installation to the City of Vancouver in July, 2011, called Lotus in Motion, The Watercolour Project.

VanDusen Botanical Garden is the setting for this first-ever floating painting installation, by artist Gordon Halloran. Made up of lightweight works in the shape of the lily pad, bold in colour and varied in size, the work finds inspiration in Claude Monte's impressionist waterlilies, calving icebergs and overlapping organice textures of landscape flora.

Visitors will see the artwork as they walk the paths, touring the gardens. Livingston Lake, Heather Pond and Heron Lake will contain the floating paintings.

Lotus in Motion uses site, scale and colour to attract viewers. Like bees to bright flowers, onlookers are seduced by vibrancy, lured into collective play. Working along the trajectory of his unique, sculptural ice paintings (Paintings Below Zero), Halloran employs water as part of the artwork's physicality. His floating paintings bud from the natural world; each composition, a layering of pattern and hue whose origins proliferate in nature. Wing and leaf, feather and petal, all are employed to coalesce as Lotus. Temperate rainforest, garden forms and pond life, flora and fauna are studied within the brilliant surface of waterlily leaves.

Lotus paintings are made of simple, organic materials: watercolour paper and beeswax and are loosely labeled according to Linnaean taxonomy, a system used to identify plants.

Western culture, eastern spiritual heritage
The floating lotus paintings evoke a cultural heritage that is western and a spiritual heritage that is eastern. Informed by a view that is scientific and an artistic sensibility that marries technical mastery and innovation, the paintings offer a rare perception of the multiple layers of a seemingly singular experience.

City of Vancouver first host to artist's unique work
Vancouver Parks Board was first host to artist's frozen paintings @ Vancouver's West End Community Center in the early nineties. The artist has since produced Paintings Below Zero for 2 Olympic Winter Games, and has created monumental installations in other international cities, his artwork seen by hundreds of thousands of people.

The registered, non-profit group Third Coast International Public Art Society is helping to raise needed funds to defray production costs of the installation. There are two primary ways to support Lotus in Motion, the Watercolour Project. One is by purchasing Lotus art cards. The other is to sponsor a floating painting for a day, a week, a month, or the entire duration of the installation. Go to the blog site ( to get your art card & contribute direclty to offset the hard costs of creating the artwork.

Contact: Caitlin Hicks 1-604-886-3634

Photo credit: Katherine Kortikow

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Public art . . what was the artist thinking?

What is it that artists contribute to our experience of life? To our culture? To our sense of purpose and meaning? To the quality of our lives?

Practical things, for sure. If you look around, chances are that almost everything you see has been designed by an artist. The chair you're sitting on, the ring on your finger, the pen in your hand, your keyboard. Everything that moves us forward as a society comes out of the creative process.

Artists explore the world we live in with the expression of their beings. In other culture, they're Shamans, they see things and can't avoid communicating what they see.

Artists make tactile an idea, they give coluor to an insight, shape to an observation. They put in context things intuited. And when their creativity meshes just so with their materials it is without words, sublime. It's not always beautiful, but it's a meditation on life.

With Lotus in Motion, artist Gordon Halloran reflects on nature. in Smile of the Buddha, Hippolyte Taine's short passage juxtaposed with contemplation on Monet's water lilies, resonates:

"Nature is . . . an infinite chain of causes from effects and effects from causes, an infinite progeny into the past and the future of decompositions and recompositions with no beginning and no end."

I'll leave you with that for today.