Reader in Fine Art, Loughborough University School of Art
Since leaving the RCA in London, where Henry Moore personally funded Atkin, he has exhibited
his work worldwide. Recent publications on Atkins’ output focus on the notion of “industrial archaeology”
and the use of the past, (or archive), within the contemporary landscape. These publications
include The Navigator ISBN 0-906688-40-X; Scorched Earth ISBN 1-900856-41-7; Distant
Voices ISBN 1-900856-30-1; Cut, ISBN1-901560 -65 -1; The Made and The Unmade ISBN 0-
9704605-0-3. His work has been the subject of widespread media interest and editorials that focus
on his work in public spaces, here in the UK and overseas.
In recent years, Atkin has been invited to present the keynote paper at the Sculpture by the Sea
Symposium at the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia. He also exhibited a new, major sculpture,
at the Sculpture by the Sea, capitalizing on earlier exhibitions at MOMA @ Heide, Melbourne: and
Rex Irwin Gallery, Sydney: simultaneously exhibiting at Soho Galleries, Sydney.
An example of his current work, entitled Strange Meeting, has been commissioned by Beijing Municipal
Government, to celebrate the cultural emphasis of the Olympics ” One World One Dream”
ethos in Olympic Park, Beijing. This 27-ton marble & granite artwork forms part of an exhibition of
twenty-six artists selected from a global application of 2600 people.
Atkins’ research interest lies in the interaction of people with artworks that change a space into a
place. In this way the community secures a landmark for the area and a meeting point for all generations
and cultures. He is currently completing a series of innovative artworks for Kent County
Council, where he is Lead Artist for their ground breaking Breaking Boundaries “shared space”
highways project. This entails working alongside Landscape Architects and Engineers to complete a
range of highway structures, (such as roundabouts, terracing and street furniture), that reflect on
Ashford’s cultural heritage within a contemporary context.
His current project in California focuses on the regeneration of the Fillmore District of San Francisco and collaborating with AXIS Architects on delivering a coherent public realm that addresses
the locales indelible heritage as the home of West Coast Jazz. The social legacy of this project has
been fraught with decades of (SFO County Hall) misplaced redevelopment that has fractured a once
vibrant community, famed for it ethnic mix and social inclusion. Atkins’ involvement in this landmark
project involves the delivery of a signature sculpture that will act as a beacon for the areas regeneration.
In addition, he has been asked to develop the new plaza space into a seating plan that
includes bespoke street furniture that encourages the community to use the space as a meeting place
and thereby foster economic growth. In time the plan is to roll-out his vision for the district into a
series of interactive spaces that include various examples of street furniture that add to the unique
nature of the space and the historic vernacular of the street.
To view bibliography
click here. Or take a look through past peices of work
undertaken by John Atkin and publications of his work.