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John McKenna is a British sculptor. Born in Manchester in 1964, McKenna moved to Worcestershire where he attended the Royal Grammar School. He studied at Middlesex Polytechnic Art College in North London. In 1987 he gained a bursary to study at the Sir Henry Doulton School of Sculpture when it was under the patronage of Dame Elizabeth Frink. From 1990 to 1993 he lectured at Stafford College of further education in figurative classical sculpture and at Worcester College of Technology where he taught three dimensional design. He was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1993 and from this point on resigned his lecturing duties to become a full time profession public art sculptor. McKenna to this day still works from his art studio and bronze foundry in Turnberry, South Ayrshire. Currently he is working on a statue of the female British Wimbledon and Australian Open tennis champion of the 1930's , Dorothy Round Little.
Early Years 1993 to 2002
In 1996 McKenna sited his Sculpture studio at Crown East lane, close to the Elgar Birthplace Museum, at Broadheath, Worcester. The studio was the creation site for many of his public art commissions including the 'family of instruments', commissioned by the Crown Estate for Bell Square, Worcester City and the world famous Jersey Cattle group bronze sculpture celebrating the famous cattle breed 'The Year of the Jersey 2001'. This particular commission saw McKenna's work on the famous breed of cattle being introduced to Her Majesty Queen Eizabeth II at the opening of the Royal Jersey Agricultural & Horticultural building, Trinity, Jersey.
2002 Relocation to Scotland
By the year 2002 McKenna had outgrown this studio and when he was commissioned to produce the main artwork on the Cunard Line transatlantic liner, Queen Mary 2 he relocated the studio to a small holding farm on the South West coast of Scotland. From the new larger studios in Scotland, McKenna was able to create much larger artworks in fabricated metals. The Queen Mary 2 CUNARD commission being a 7m by 7m bronze sheet fabricated relief, a portrait of the ship itself which graces the grand lobby staircase on this iconic Ship. McKenna later went on to create the grand staircase feature in the sister ship Queen Victoria, again a relief portrait of the ship itself. Both relief sculptures were carrying on the panel theme from the original Queen Mary ship built in Belfast and launched in 1934. Back on land McKenna was commissioned to create aa bronze statue of swineherd Eof, in Evesham, Worcestershire. McKenna's design for Eof was selected in the year 1999 by public competition but it took the town several years to raise the funds to pay for the statue.
2006 On the Shoulders of Giants
In 2006 the larger studios enabled McKenna to extend his capabilities into fabricating large stainless steel sculptural structures. The new facilities saw the creation of the colossal mining figure, named 'Jigger' commissioned by the Walsall MBC for a site in Brownhills, Staffordshire. This 5 metric ton type 304 stainless steel sculpture of a miner stands approximately 13m or 46 feet in height, a colossal figure, brandishing a pick axe and lamp, a monument tribute to the local coal mining industry of this industrial area.. The Citizens of Brownhills had selected McKenna's design for the miner after much public consultation, taking a great interest in the project, ensuring the 'Jigger the Colossus of Brownhills' is admired and cherished for many generations to come.
Then in 2007 McKenna set up the A4A art for architecture studio sculpture foundry where he started casting his own bronze sculpture and statues. His commissions include statues of footballers, Jock Stein at Celtic Park, Glasgow and of Jimmy Johnstone in the Jimmy Johnstone Memorial Garden, Old Edinburgh Road, View Park, Lanarkshire. He was also shortlisted to create the statue of Brian Clough in Nottingham city centre. McKenna has also created a bronze statue The Miner of Auchengeich as a memorial in Moodiesburn, Glasgow, and a
Significant Public Art Commissions
list to follow shortly
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 John McKenna ARBS. www.s-s-a.org. Retrieved on 29 January 2012.
- ↑ Ayrshire Arts Network ~ Artist Directory. www.ayrshirearts.com. Retrieved on 30 January 2012.
- ↑ The statue of Eof. www.evesham.com. Retrieved on 29 January 2012.
- ↑ Artist's Directory : John McKenna. www.ayrshirehearts.com. Retrieved on 30 January 2012.
- ↑ Statue unveiled for Celtic great Jock Stein. Stv.tv. Retrieved on 25 January 2012.
- ↑ Jimmy Johnstone memorial garden and statue officially opened. Stv.tv. Retrieved on 26 January 2012.
- ↑ 'Jimmy 'Jinky' Johnstone portrait statue'. www.artparks.co.uk. Retrieved on 26 January 2012.
- ↑ Statue shortlist. www.brianclough.com. Retrieved on 30 January 2012.
- ↑ Replica unveiled for stolen Auchengeich mining statue. BBC News. Retrieved on 29 January 2012.
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