Halifax artist John Macnab’s wooden sculpture, CSDC 3-8, received the $25,000 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia’s Arts Award at a gala dinner marking the close of the Creative Nova Scotia Conference in Tusket on Saturday night (Oct. 24). Created from red spruce, the 25 foot long double spiral sculpture, full name “Compound Spiral Double Cone, No. 3, 8 Sided”, was selected by an arms-length jury of five chaired by filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton. Musician Dinuk Wijeratne, artists Suzanne Swannie and David Devinney, and artistic director Ken Schwartz completed the jury.
In selecting CSDC 3-8, the jury noted that “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. 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.”
Ron Bourgeois, Chair of the Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation which administers the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia’s Arts Awards, also presented $2000 cheques to the creators of the other four finalists on the shortlist: Jennifer Overton accepted for “In Good Company” the collective which prepared and produced God’s Middle Name, a fast-paced series of vignettes that unflinchingly explore a mother’s multiple challenges of living with an autistic child; Neil Forrest for Mandible, an innovative, large-scale ceramic sculpture suspended from the gallery ceiling by an integrated tensile system; Susan Feindel for See Below, an immersive experience of the ocean floor, re-enacted through a group of huge black and white painted canvases; and Garry Neill Kennedy for The Colours of Citizen Arar, a powerful, provocative wall painting.
The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Arts Award is made possible by major funding from the Province of Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Masterwork Awards Foundation also gratefully acknowledges the support of The Craig Foundation, The Chronicle Herald, and Stewart McKelvey.