Ivan Eyre, Canada
Title: Bird Wrap
Artist: Ivan Eyre (b. 1935, Canada)
Dimensions: 244 x 115 x 130 cm (96 x 45 x 51 in)
Weight: 370 kg (815 lb)
Former Location: Thornton Park, across from Vancouver Pacific Central Station, in Vancouver (April 2014 – November 2016)
Over the course of Ivan Eyre’s celebrated career, he has returned time and again to certain graphic motifs, a visual shorthand through which he explores deeply personal notions of self and identity. Central among these motifs is The Birdman, a figure Eyre remembers studying through “scores of drawn self-portraits with bird headdresses [which] became regular subjects in the studio.”
Translating this figure into three-dimensional form represents a significant conceptual leap for Eyre, who first garnered critical acclaim as a painter. The rendering of a man cloaked in the visage of a bird stands 2.4 meters high, welcoming visitors to Thornton Park as the sculpture towers above. Eyre has always drawn deeply from legend and archetype, and indeed this uneasy union of man and beast harkens back to timeless mythological creatures, as well as to the great bronzes of antiquity and more recent masterworks of abstraction.
Bird Wrap was one of the first major works installed as part of the Vancouver Biennale’s 2014-2016 Open Air Museum exhibition.