Hosted by the Confucius Institute in Edinburgh, Dialogue with Emperor Qin’s Warriors selected 28 artists to represent the individual countries of the European Union, as well as three sculptors from China.
The exhibition was commissioned by Inspiring Culture in Brussels as part of the EU-China 2012 Year of Intercultural Dialogue and toured across China before arriving at six locations in Europe.
Artists were tasked with creating a response to the First Emperor’s Terracotta Army in Xian and produced full-scale contemporary versions of various aspects of the warriors, such as guards, chariots, acrobats and dancers.
In 2012, as part of his research, John visited the archaeological mausoleum of the Terracotta Warriors, resulting in a series of sculptures entitled ‘Twister.’
The fabricated aluminium piece in the series features in the exhibition. Due to the materials used in its production, it resembles a sentinel or a lookout; its form derived from tailor’s patterns, with elegant contoured shapes expanded by use of digital and hand wrought processes.
Speaking about the work, John Atkin, Reader in Fine Art at Loughborough’s School of Arts, English and Drama, said: “My own interest explored the ideas of acrobats and dancers assigned to entertain the Emperor in his afterlife.
“The sculpture creates a sense of the human figure trapped within the ordered pattern of garments, which we wear to project our own identity to the outside world.”
The carved marble version of the work currently stands on Leicester’s New Walk.
Further information on the exhibition is available here.