CSDC 3-8 – John Macnab

Winner of the 2009 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award

Creator: John Macnab

Nominator: Susan Hanrahan, on behalf of the NS Designer Crafts Council

Seconders: Christine Macy, Kim Morgan

CSDC 3-8 (Compound Spiral Double Cone No. 3, 8 Sided) is a 25-foot long spiral sculpture turned from red spruce. Suspended horizontally, it presents a floating form of lyrical grace and simplicity that belies the complexity of its production and its remarkable cross-disciplinary origins. John Macnab combined his wood-turning background and engineering skills to invent a 20-foot vertical lathe capable of turning large-scale sculptures to complicated formulae. With this unique tool, Macnab has been able to re-think the craft tradition and, drawing on his fascination with mathematics, science and the spiral growth of natural forms (from seashells to galaxies), to produce a powerful and elegant work that bridges the gap between industrial precision and creative expression.

Brief bio: John Macnab has lived and worked in Nova Scotia since 1970. A graduate of the NS College of Geographic Sciences, he is largely self-taught as a wood-turner and machinist. His exquisite turned sculptures have been shown in galleries, art fairs, and industrial design exhibitions across the continent, and his Halifax studio has become a site exemplifying the creative relationship between tool and form. CSDC 3-8 was first exhibited in SOFA [Sculptural Objects and Functional Art], Chicago in 2008, and in the Port Loggia Gallery, NSCAD University, in 2009.