This incarnation of the big easel project focuses on Vincent Van Gogh's sunflower paintings. Each sculpture consists of a painting which measures 7 metres x 10 metres, and rests on a 25 metre -17,000 kilogram steel easel. The first easel has been completed and was erected in Canada; the second in Australia and the third easel was successfully presented in the USA and now rests in the State of Kansas. Discussions are currently underway for the remaining four easels locations.
The concept for this project includes reproducing all seven of Vincent van Gogh's Sunflower Paintings in seven countries around the world. Van Gogh painted seven different but similar Sunflower paintings between the years 1888-1889. The symbolic reference of Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings is very strong. I believe he saw the Sunflower as a representation of life, hope and renewal.
This series of seven large easels reflect my own interest in appropriation and reproduction in contemporary art. The seven sites will range from rural to urban with population ranging from several thousand to several million.
The idea of taking a very traditional symbol of art - the 19th century still life on an easel - and enlarging it to an enormous proportion, interests me greatly. The traditional 'painting on an easel' is now a contemporary work of art. By placing virtually the same sculpture in seven countries, with distinct cultures, I am curious as to how these sculptures will be interpreted. Will the sculpture be perceived for its reference to the sunflower, Van Gogh or art in general?