Photograph by Bob Brink
Ribbon Piece #1
by ppitussi (Peter Walker)
(Fibreglass reinforced plastic)
Confederation Hill, West Block, St. John's
100 Prince Philip Dr., St. John's, NL A1B 3R4
In 1983, sculptor Peter Walker's fibreglass art piece was one of 11 Newfoundland artworks commissioned under the Provincial Government's Art Procurement Program for the Confederation Complex Extension. It was installed in 1985 for the opening of the extension (the West Block).
The sculpture is located on the patio outside the building's cafeteria and measures 22 feet in height, 15 feet in length, and 10 feet in width. It comprises six curved aluminum poles draped with fibreglass reinforced plastic sheets.
"The inspiration was how things get blown by the wind, how detritus becomes beautiful when we change our point of view," Walker says, adding that the sculpture is "a celebration of beauty." You can follow this link to the 1985 interview where Walker discussed the various stages of this commissioned work’s production process.
Peter Walker was born in London, England in 1945 and his family moved to Alberta, Canada in 1947. He attended the Alberta College of Art from 1963-68 and the Vancouver School of Art from 1968-69. In 1970, he moved to St. John’s, NL. Between 1970 and 1980, Walker's work was mainly three-dimensional, in fibreglass. He also designed and built children's playgrounds. From 1980-83, when he was director of St. Michael's Printshop, Walker began to concentrate more on lithography. He also works in painting, photography, drawing and sculpture. In 1985 he left Newfoundland for Nova Scotia, via Mexico. In 1990 he began teaching at NSCAD with his new wife, artist Nancy Edell. In 1999 Edell and Walker co-taught printmaking in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. In 2016 he ceased teaching at NSCAD and pursued his sculpture and painting work full time. Currently, he is assembling a sculpture park containing approximately 70 pieces and called “The Irony Garden.” This will be open to the public in the next year, though visitors are touring it now.