Sunday, 18 December 2011

Different Kind of Totems

I'm a big fan of the City of Ottawa's public art collections and program.  One of my favourite pieces is by Jim Thomson. These three columns stand in the main corridor of City Hall. and I enjoy them every time I pass by.  They are made of ceramic and stand about 2.4 m tall.

If you have looked at this blog you will see I am very interested in symbolism.  The  mythology and iconography of Haida carving resonates with me even though I live 3000 miles form the left coast. I think of Thomson's work as totems and it has inspired some ideas about totems I would like to craft.

The City narrative states:
On Top of the World is a three-part ceramic sculpture, designed to generate philosophical optimism about the viewer's life and existence. The turtle, dog, and the spiral interact to form a reassuring and celebratory environment. The clever and attentive dog symbolizes myth and paradoxes, while the turtle, carrying its home wherever it goes, represents history and experience. Both figures gaze towards the third vase, a spiral of pure energy, representing a timeless and all-embracing world.
Don't expect such high falutin text about any totems I might make.

1 comment:

  1. Great sketch! This reminded me of these sculptures around a shopping center nearby. I never bothered to stop and take a closer look at them. Then, one day, poof! They were just gone.