scluptures made from steel

The Navigator

The Navigator has been commissioned by Ipswich River Action Group with the help of Commissions East and financially supported by the Arts Council England Lottery Programme.

My inspiration for the sculpture The Navigator was inspired by Ipswich's maritime history and industrial past. Influences for the artwork were found among a variety of sources. 19th century stern castings for ships, navigational instruments to pattern templates found in the textiles industry.

My interest in the figure was generated by garment templates. Elegant forms in their own right and also a cross-over into my ongoing interest in the found object tradition. These shapes, resonant of human anatomy, also had surreal connotations that allowed me to explore their varied potential through drawing and assemblage.

The idea of play was also important. The sculptures and drawings initially invite the viewer to participate in the innocent aspects of the completed work, only to realise that there are more sinister connotations to the piece after longer contemplation of the artwork.

Conflict and war are ongoing themes throughout my career and much of my output gravitates toward the bleaker aspects of human experience. These works are not social commentaries and focus mainly on ideas to do with isolation. Often the sculptures and drawing are seen in a solitary existence, within a bleak horizon or empty interior. This, for me, heightens the idea of being trapped. The shapes and forms that constitute the artwork are like bugs trapped in amber, caught in time (sometimes nomadic), in an ongoing conflict, readable only by the shapes and forms gleaned from various parts of history.

The Navigator - 2003
Corten & stainless steel - Height, 18 feet
Commissioned by Ipswich Borough Council
on behalf of The River Action Group


Copyright © 2005 - 2013 John Atkin. All rights reserved.
terms and conditions | web design Trondez