11 Jul 2015
Fine art researcher receives international award for sculpture
A new sculpture by John Atkin, a reader in Fine Art here at Loughborough University, has been selected against fierce competition to form part of a permanent exhibition in the Chinese city of Fuzhou.
The sculpture, entitled The Silk Road, stands at 5 metres tall and is constructed from stainless steel. It is one of only 40 works selected from over 3500 for entry into the Fuzhou International Sculpture Exhibition, which is being held in celebration of the first ever National Youth Games taking place in the city in October 2015. Atkin’s sculpture received the Excellence Award, and along with the other winning entries will be the subject of a seminar before being placed in a public location in the heart of Fuzhou. It is hoped that the placement of these sculptures will contribute not only to the celebrations but also to the long-term urban regeneration of the city.
John says of the sculpture, “The title of the sculpture takes its name from the famous trade route, The Silk Road. The undulating forms of the sculpture explore ideas of fluid movement juxtaposed with sharp changes of direction at the intersections of each arc of the artwork. Interestingly these same movements also reference dance and sporting events, where multidirectional movement is intrinsic to success, coordinating the motions of the human body and breathing whilst maintain perfect balance.”
The Silk Road is the latest of numerous works John has exhibited and sited outside of the UK. It also continues two of the central elements of John’s practice; large-scale artworks embedded in civic spaces as part of regeneration efforts and extensive activity in China. The latter saw his marble and granite sculpture Strange Meeting selected from more than 2600 worldwide applicants to be placed adjacent to the iconic Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing in 2008 for the capital’s Cultural Olympiad.