Downtown iceberg

Daniel MacEachern
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Artist’s convention centre image depicts a provincial icon

There’s something about icebergs that draws Tara Bryan. The Flatrock artist’s piece “Aftermath (cracking up)” depicts an iceberg in two pieces, swirls of azure, white and aquamarine, and was selected by the City of St. John’s for placement on the exterior facade of the expanded convention centre.

Flatrock artist Tara Bryan’s piece “Aftermath (cracking up)” has been chosen by the City of St. John’s for placement on the exterior facade of the expanded convention centre. — Submitted photo

“They’re something that people often hope to see when they come here to visit. Most people I know keep an eye out for them or go out when they hear there’s an iceberg somewhere, they go out to look at it,” she said.

“They’re something that people think of, associate with Newfoundland, but you don’t always get to see. So part of my rationale for it being a good image to use that, that people often come here to see them and don’t see them.

If they have it on the building,

it’s an iconic image that gives everyone a chance to see an iceberg.”

Bryan’s original artwork was four feet by eight feet, meaning she needed to change the dimensions of it for the city’s specifications.

“But because it’s a big iceberg in churning water — it’s an iceberg, so you can make it any shape you want it.”

The artist is no stranger to showings of her work, but Bryan admits to being nervous at this huge, permanent installation of one of her pieces.

“I mean, I think it’s really exciting, but I spend hours and hours in my studio by myself,” she said. “I don’t really feel attached to my work once it’s done. I’ll be interested to see how the image is as a lasting thing.”

It’s partly because, Bryan says, she’s not used to seeing her work after she’s completed it. “I paint, I do things, and then I try to get them out of the studio so I don’t have to look at them anymore,” she said.

“I have a few small paintings, but I don’t really have any of

my own work hanging in our house, because once I’m done with it I’m done with it, for the most part.”

One thing she’s not worried about is the public’s reception.

“I don’t think this image will be a problem,” she said.

“It’s pretty, I guess, sort of conventional. It’s somewhat abstract — it’s not a photographic representation of the iceberg — but it’s easily recognizable, and it’s something most people here have seen, so I don’t think it’ll be controversial.”

Now that Bryan’s image has been selected, the rest is up to the city, which will be installing it on the convention centre in panels in May, long ahead of the project’s scheduled completion in late 2015.

“The image is made out of coin-sized piece of aluminum, so it’s like a really pixellated image,” she said.

“As I understand it, they’re tilted in different directions, so they catch the light differently. So it makes a huge mural with the light reflecting off of the panels.”

The effect is monochrome, and from a distance, Bryan says, will look like a large black and white photograph — the mural’s dimensions will be nine metres high and 17 metres wide.

 Twitter: @TelegramDaniel

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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