Halifax, N.S. – The ambitious sculpture, Beyond the Terminating Vista (Rebuild), by artist Steve Higgins, won the $25,000 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award last night (Oct. 25). The award was presented at the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala, Original Species (Art. Official. Selection.), in Halifax. The winner was chosen by an arms-length jury of five artists: Co-chairs Charlie Rhindress (theatre) Halifax, and Veronique Mackenzie (dance) Halifax, along with Glynis Humphrey (visual arts), Halifax, John Brett (film/media,) Halifax, and Laurie Dalton (visual arts), Wolfville.
The Masterwork was produced entirely from building lumber and was displayed at Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery in 2013, where it occupied a space 60 feet long, 20 feet wide and 20 feet high. During the six-week construction phase the gallery was open to visitors, who could talk with the artist and his young crew as they worked. Higgins describes this witnessing of his process as a “theatre of labour.” In the second phase, the finished work was presented, and at the exhibition’s close it was dismantled, and the parts donated to Habitat for Humanity.
Monumental yet ephemeral, Beyond the Terminating Vista formed a collage-like compendium of modernist architectural motifs. Some of these were physically accessible to viewers and others, floating overhead, were available only to the eye. Jurors found it “Courageous of the artist to tackle such a large space. A sophisticated piece and a bold step in a new direction for the artist”. They called the “laboriousness of the process a key component in the significance of the work”.
His Honour Brigadier-General the Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret’d), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia presented the winner with his certificate and said: “Beyond the Terminating Vista (Rebuild) exemplifies the bold thinking and creativity that this Award aims to foster. I extend my sincere congratulations to Steve Higgins and all those who helped to bring this ambitious project to fruition. ”
In a departure from previous years, the jury identified three works as finalists for the 2013 prize. In addition to Beyond the Terminating Vista (Rebuild), they also selected the feature film Blackbird by Chester filmmaker Jason Buxton and the live-action graphic novel When it Rains, by Halifax-based 2b theatre company’s Anthony Black, Nick Bottomley, and Christian Barry. All of the finalists were honoured at a reception at Government House on Thursday. While the winner was awarded $25,000, the other two finalists received $3000 each.
Images of the winner and the finalists are on the Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation website: www.nsmasterworks.ca. The Award recognizes the excellence and creation of a particular work of art or performance of art,which has made a significant impact in its public presentation, and contributed to the historical development and contemporary practice of the art form. The work must have had its first public presentation within the past five years.
The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award is made possible by major funding from Arts Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation also gratefully acknowledges the support of The Craig Foundation, Scotiabank, and Stewart McKelvey.
For further information and hi-res images, contact:
Hannah Beck, Strategic Arts Management, (902) 407-8885