The Sirens' Calling

In the sculpture entitled The Sirens’ Calling, John Greer depicts four archaic Greek figures sourced from standing archaic marble carvings. These known and existing carvings have clothing and hairstyles that he is utilizing to represent the four cardinal positions of the compass. In his sculpture he reduced the front of these life-size figures to a flat, two-dimensional surface made of mirror-polished stainless steel.

The backs of these figures are fully articulated in their archaic style. They are in the traditional posture of the stepping figure, the left foot slightly forward, indicating deliberate forward moving potential. These figures are standing in a row about 6m apart from each other and are each grounded on a large monolith of black granite, facing the respective direction that they represent as Cardinal points. 

The front of the figures, being silhouettes, can be perceived frontally as a figure stepping forward or receding, stepping away. They are illuminated at night with a subtle blue light that is integrated into the sculpture. 


From the 2021 Masterworks jury:

The Sirens’ Calling is a pinnacle of public sculpture – uniting observers with the work and surroundings. A masterfully crafted work reflective of and accessible to all.”

Photo: Raoul Manuel Schnell

David Diviney is the Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in K’jipuktuk/Halifax. Prior to joining the AGNS in 2009, he worked as an independent curator and held positions at the Southern Albert Art Gallery and Eye Level Gallery.

His recent curatorial projects include A Sense of Site (2019), Jordan Bennett: Ketu’elmita’jik (2018), The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968-1978 (2016), and John Greer: retroActive (2015).

He was part of the curatorial team that developed Landmarks/Repères, a coast-to-coast-to-coast network of commissioned contemporary art projects staged in Canada’s national parks in 2017. He also co-curated the Bonavista Biennale 2019: FLOE, an exhibition situated in outport communities and historic sites along a 100-kilometer route in rural Newfoundland.

In addition to his background in the museum setting, he has taught courses at the Alberta College of Art and Design, University of Lethbridge, Thompson Rivers University, and Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.