John McKinnon

John McKinnon

Featured Sculpture

John McKinnon - Wind Suite #2 (marble)

Take a stroll through Nelson's downtown core and you are almost certain to see some of John McKinnon's sculptures. Whether sculpted in marble or a specific type of stone, McKinnon's style and talent is easily recognizable. The veteran Sculpturewalk participant has a number of pieces on permanent display around the Queen City, including Mother and Child at the local hospital and pieces in two city parks. The Gathering welcomes users to the sports complex. The companion piece he displayed (Wind Suite #1) here last year sits in the heart of Baker Street.

McKinnon is comfortable in a multitude of mediums. If one is fortunate enough to be invited to visit his sculpture garden just outside of the city, they'll explore a testament to his versatility and range. It is also an ongoing, ever-evolving life project. Not only are there sculptures from a wide array of materials - bronze, welded and forged steel, concrete, wood ,clay, and glass –there are works from other artists, past Sculpturewalk entries and pieces that cover the diverse mediums he has explored in his nearly forty year career as an artist.

He has also taught art across the country. One of the first instructors at the David Thompson University in Nelson, McKinnon has also taught modern stone carving techniques to Inuit carvers across northern Canada (including assisting in the establishment of the Stone Carving Foundation through Arctic College in Iqaluit, Nunavut). For years he has, and continues to, instruct at the Haliburton campus of Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario.

"I use whatever medium will best express my idea. With this in mind, experimenting simultaneously in various directions has been a key to my personal development as an artist," he states. "Certainly, my varied teaching history has been a great inspiration for me."

Part of a trio of sculptures inspired by the wind, Wind Suite #2 is another beautiful marble work that explores the nuances of wind. Where Wind Suite #1 spiralled vertically, here there is a more circular, horizontal emphasis. Set on a sloping marble base accentuating the rest of the sculpture, two scalloped fan-like ends coil harmoniously in the middle. The piece is continuous and utterly graceful, perfectly balanced in capturing the essence and ephemeral qualities of the element in stunning white marble.

"I thought its translucent qualities made it an obvious choice to showcase the movement and lightness the suite embodies," said McKinnon. "It's hard to think of a 2500 pound sculpture as 'light' but I feel it was the right material without a doubt."

Sculpturewalk viewers will no doubt agree. For those looking to lease or purchase McKinnon's dazzling piece though, for now they are out of luck. "I'm going to hang on to this one and its companions, at least for a while," McKinnon explains.

Quite possibly Wind Suite #2 will join its predecessor in that ever-advancing life project of his. As it should be, perhaps, so marvel at this latest masterwork while attending Sculpturewalk.

Artist's Sculptures