Barrington Benches and Sculpture Nova Scotia Give Birth to Venus

September 23/16
Barrington Benches and Sculpture Nova Scotia Give Birth to Venus

                   Artist Miro Davis pausing on her new creation

The Barrington Benches, located across from Grand Parade on Barrington Street, will soon have a new place for people to take a pause, thanks to a partnership between the Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) and Sculpture Nova Scotia. The installation takes place on Sunday, September 25, at 9:00 am, led by Windsor-based Heritage Memorials.

The granite bench is the result of DHBC’s Gritty to Pretty beautification grant directed toward last year’s inaugural Sculpture Nova Scotia symposium on the Halifax Waterfront. The $5,000 grant was advanced to further the Barrington Benches public art and beautification initiative. The funding enabled Halifax-based social sculptor Miro Davis to design and carve an intricate rest stop from Nova Scotia and African granite, donated by Heritage Memorials.

Davis’s site-specific sculpture is inspired by the famous “Birth of Venus,” and symbolizes the mysticism of love and the sea. “I think of Venus as an offering, a place to find comfort for busy minds on busy streets,” said Davis. “When you sit on the pearl, her shell forms a throne behind you, creating a protective shelter that invites contemplation.”

“Art is an important part of any great city,” said Paul MacKinnon, Executive Director of DHBC. “This piece not only looks beautiful but also provides opportunity for the public to engage with their Downtown. We’re pleased to be a part of this project, which will be prominently featured on one of Downtown Halifax’s busiest streets.”

Sculpture Nova Scotia (SNS) took place in 2015 during September and October, in partnership with Waterfront Development. The biennial symposium is a public, open-air creation process resulting in permanent granite sculptures. The inaugural event featured experienced artists-in-residence from Maine and Canada who mentored local artists in granite carving practice. The symposium took place at Salter on the Halifax Waterfront, near the Boardwalk. The public was able to watch working sculptors during daily opening hours. Enthusiastic observers from across Canada, the U.S., and 13 other countries signed the SNS visitor book, and organizers estimate that more than 10,000 people visited the sculptures, which were unveiled at Nocturne: Art at Night.