A generous grant of more than $200,000 has paved the way for Two Rivers Gallery to commission a major work by renowned artist Peter von Tiesenhausen. The sculpture, made from cast iron and bronze, blends a stylized human form with that of a tree.
“The human figure will be eight feet tall and a 12-foot tree will emerge from its head,” said curator George Harris. “We expect it may be installed next fall though the exact location is still under discussion. Harris said the gallery selected von Tiesenhausen because he’s an accomplished artist with an international reputation for exciting work.
“He has a high profile in our community as well having delivered three extraordinary popular talks as well as a major exhibition [Requiem], in Prince George,” Harris said.
“He lives in the North and has particular knowledge of issues facing our communities. His work is compelling and relevant to central B.C.” The new project arose from one of Two Rivers Gallery’s most moving and popular exhibitions in its 36-year-history: von Thiesenhausen’s 2005 exhibition Requiem that addressed issues around the mountain pine beetle infestation.
Arts Partners in Creative Development awarded $20l,850 to the gallery in addition to the $91,705 that the City of Prince George has committed to the project.
The sculpture is designed to inspire our faith in nature while urging that we assume responsibility or our lives and our environment, said Two Rivers Gallery managing director Peter Thompson.
“The health of our environment is rooted within ourselves and the communities in which we live.Hope lies in us and in our determination to make a difference. Bringing together the human and tree forms, draws an important link between nature, human beings and our communities. It speaks to the metaphorical planting of the seeds of hope, responsibility and action. Our futures rest in the balance.”
von Tiesenhausen will give talks in the community describing the building of the sculpture and elaborating upon its message of hope and environmental stewardship, he said.
“Prince George’s public art program is a farsighted tool for community development,” Thompson added. “It helps to foster a sense of ownership, belonging and pride in the city. Balance will be pivotal element in making Prince George’s B.C.’s Northern Arts Capital as envisioned by the City’s public art policy.”
Thompson said the gallery and the wider arts community is grateful for the support of municipal and provincial governments and other partner organizations that contribute to Arts Partners in Creative Development.
Mayor Colin Kinsley welcomed the news and looks forward to the sculpture in place.
“Art in all its forms enriches our quality of life and we are very fortunate to have the support for the project,” he said.
“The grant announcement is welcome news and the artist chosen will provide a work of art with a relevant northern theme profiling the respect and reliance we have on the community’s and the region’s natural resources.”