Art For Everyone : Public Art Installations

Read about the whole point of "Looking Around London" at this link here.

Get started with my pictures and thoughts on the London Tree Trunk Tour here.

The Tree Trunk Tour is going to be on Hamilton Road, and I'm blogging its creation here.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Pearson Panther

The Pearson Panther is located in the front yard of Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts. This carving is a stop on the original leg of Tourism London's Tree Trunk Tour. It is similar to The Learning Tree, and the CCH Crusader, as they are all located on school properties. While the other two carvings are at a secondary school, Pearson is an elementary school.

The class of 2008 at Pearson has dedicated this carving from themselves to the school. It has a large panther carved out of the back of the trunk, and it is leaning with its paws above a series of crests.

There are eight crests in total. Four of them symbolise the curriculum at Lester Pearson. It is a dedicated arts school, so there are four core artistic components. A palette and brush represent visual arts. A treble clef and note are for music. Theatre masks for theatrical performance, and ballet slippers for dance.

The other four crests represent plays that the graduating class performed in each during their time at the school.

They include Crown and Dagger, Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', and White Rabbit. Pictured are the shipwreck in 'The Tempest', and presumably the title character in 'White Rabbit'.

The panther itself is fully detailed throughout, including a coat of gloss black paint, and each individual white tooth shaped in his mouth. He could probably use a little tooth brushing, however.

I haven't made note of it in every instance, but not every trunk carved on the tour is the result of a conveniently placed dying or dead tree. The CCH Crusader is the example that comes to mind. When the tree isn't in the right place, there still might be a spot for the tree. A poured concrete pad for stability, and a metal post slid up into the core of the trunk, and you too, can have a permanent carving where there was no tree.

I do usually note any the signature and any damage to the tree at this point. The signature is low on the back of the trunk, and is the all capital RAW ART from Robbin Wenzoski. The date is 2008. In the nearly 4 years since completion, the surface details have had a lot of damage done to them, there are light and dark discolourations, and the stain has faded in many places. Happily, due to it being on a concrete pad, the main body of the tree should be free of rot. Its another example of a sculpture in need of a little TLC.

Overall, an interesting concept. I have found out, through my enquiries, that the design was a collaboration between the graduating and the artists, and as many ideas from the children were incorporated as was possible. Hundreds of people walk by this sculpture every day of the school year. They are the actual people that this carving represents, and I would hope that they would find the time and energy to return it to its original condition. The Panther is still an impressive sight.

Looking for more art like this? Well try these links -

Return to the Tree Trunk Tour Overview Page
Check out all the entries using the London Art Map  
Curious about this artist? Try Robbin's Links Page

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