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Friday, January 13, 2012

The Curator’s View: True Power at UOIT

From the desk of Linda Jansma, our curator.

On Monday, 28 November in the morning, I attended the official opening of UOIT’s Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC). Six years ago, we invested in a ground source heating system for our home, so I am excited to know that Oshawa’s university is a leader in research into innovation in clean and renewable energy as this is where the future is undoubtedly taking us. After the dignitaries spoke, they gathered in front of a sculpture to cut the ribbon and declare the building officially open. Yes, they stood in front of a sculpture!

True-power-geordie-lishman-web

And not just any sculpture but Geordie Lishman’s True Power, a magnificent 4.1 metre high stainless steel horse that I first saw at Geordie’s home and studio in Ajax. True Power was the central work in the exhibition Hidden Worlds held at the RMG this past summer and which I described in the catalogue essay as an “other-worldly creature of graceful power.” This exhibition was definitely a highlight in our 2011 programming year as shown by the hundreds of people who attended the opening and the number of repeat visitors we had over the summer months.

I was thrilled to hear of the community grass roots initiative to purchase the work for UOIT and specifically for the new research centre. Oshawa and its citizens continue to support this place as a creative city and it shows in how quickly they were able to raise the funds to make this initiative happen. Geordie describes his sculpture as symbol of untapped potential in harnessing energy. How perfect that it would become a centre piece for an institution that is also seeking to harness renewable energy sources! Congratulations go to Geordie, our tireless community supporters of the arts and UOIT in making this match possible.