Friday, December 12, 2008

giant books, hands and public art in hrm



has anybody come across a giant hand caressing the sky whilst hiking in prospect? i interviewed ilan sandler today - he's a fantastic, global artist who is now living in halifax. he's also one of the artists likely to produce art for the city under hrm's new public art policy.

since amalgamation, hrm has produced a grand total of one (1) work of public art; north is freedom at the north-end library. that was from doug bamford; i called him first for my weekly news culture column, but he was deploying the Giant Prick strategy yesterday so i hung up and tried ilan, who turns out to be very nice as well as a great, bold creator. useful traits in a public artist.

the new plan sounds great - hrm wants to commission a major, permanent work every 2 or 3 years and sate us with lots of temporary public installations in the mean time. i hope that this doesn't go the way of the twisted sisters. dreamworld halifax is fierce, beautiful and bold; the babies are long overdue.

one spot they are eying is the roundabout. sandler would like to do something with the bridge, on the waterfront or at a major intersection. the advantage of the last is that people are compelled to stop and, with little else to do, contemplate his art. he told me his big hand (called Tactility) is on private land around prospect and that hikers often come across it. i've hiked out there, but haven't seen it. anyone know where it can be found?

another sandler work is The Book in toronto. secretly, i'd like my books to be printed that size, in steel, in the centre of town. it also reminded me of The Writer, a great work that was in london, uk, a few years back.

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