in touch Intercontinental Sculpture

Quarterly magazine showcasing the work of Intercontinental Sculpture Inc. Give your world more dimension and enrich your life through sculpture.

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in touch


The Siren’s Calling

Installation finished fall 2020

Queen’s Marque in

Halifax, NS


Foundry visit :

Polich Tallix Foundry



John Greer’s


into the value of

art, ideas and

money as an

abstract concept.

on form 2020


New works by



on view in 2021

Stairs to heaven

Construcion proceeds

in our Studio Paradiso


Issue 1 / winter 20/21 ... © Interontinental Sculpture Inc.


The beautiful stillness

behind everything

is tempered by our reflective presence.

John Greer / The Sirens’ Calling, 2020

Pietrasanta, Italy

December 2020

Despite a global pandemic we had an eventful year 2020, crossing the Atlantic three

times. As our name suggests, Intercontinental Sculpture has two places to call home:

East LaHave, NS, Canada and Pietrasanta (LU) Italy. This first issue of our in touch magazine

has been a brainchild of mine for a number of years. It will start as an online and/

or digital version with our first edition, but my heart is set to eventually print it, too, in a

small paper edition.

In touch Intercontinental Sculpture is an effort to stay connected with those that may

care of what John Greer and myself have going on. We both are pushers and don’t wait

too long when a good idea goes through our collective heads.

In this first issue winter 20/21 I am including five features mostly in English, but a bit of

Italian, too. Starting with new sculpture by Vanessa for on form 2020 in England, the

Shield and the Bestia Umana (Horned Being). The installation of The Siren’s Calling at

Queen’s Marque in Halifax, NS finalized our first and hopefully not last public work for

this exciting new development at the waterfront, all documented by our friend and colleague

Raoul Manuel Schnell. I included also an update on the construction of our custodian

apartment at Studio Paradiso.

John’s ongoing series of work dealing with value systems was something on my mind

these days and I am trying to offer you an overview and insight into his thinking. Last,

but not least you get to see images of our foundry visit at Polich Tallix Foundry in Upstate

New York at the end of January 2020 in order to sign off one set of these photogenic


I truly hope you enjoy this magazine because I poured my heart into it, trying to make

our life and art a bit more transparent and hopefully also engaging.

Yours truly,

Vanessa Paschakarnis

www.intercontinentalsculpture.com info@intercontinentalsculpture.com


This & That

Lavender is growing nicely in

our yard at Studio Paradiso.

Pizza orders delivered by a masked

man in blue gloves were the highlights

of our lockdown(s) in Italy.

John at Mauro Marmi

checking in on a CNC cutting

done for him “The Sleeper” in

Rosa Portugale. Note also how he

utilizes the beautiful natural seem

of the stone.

Pietrasanta reflected in a golden

glass of wine!

My goldfish are happy and healthy ;o)

Vanessa Paschakarnis

new sculpture for on form 2

page 6


Foundry Visit Polich Tallix,

Rock Tavern, NY

with Vanessa Hoheb

checking the surface up

close. page 40

Our regular business lunch

(Pranzo di Lavoro) at La

Broca with Mauro Fracassini

Vallecchia/ Pietrasanta

Stairways to Heaven

Construction in our Studio Paradiso

page 24

Vanessa enjoying quarantine in

East LaHave, NS in late August


John Greer

Value Systems

page 30


The Sirens’ Calling

Installation 2020

Queen’s Marque,

Halifax, NS

page 14









...was unfortunately only online. The good news is, that in 2021 the

doors will be unlocked and during the month of May the exhibition

will be taking place in a somewhat modified version.

Vanessa finished a couple of large scale new works for this exhibition

and she can’t wait to install them in the beautiful gardens at Asthall

Manor, near Oxford England.

Please find out all the details on the website:



Text and images by Vanessa Paschakarnis

The Shield, 2020

by Vanessa Paschakarnis

Italian Marble, 183cm x 150cm x 12cm



The Shield, 2020 is carved of a particularly

strong white Italian marble

from the Canaloni quarry above Carrara.

Its grain is so tight, that it rings

like a bell. It is mounted on a tapered

pin that allows it to be free standing

with a stainless plate fastened beneath

the surface. The Shield refers

back to a seashell, the sand dollar,

found on the shore. It’s detailing reflects

on a core and two halves, thus

creating a presence that is fragile,

yet embracing us as a thing.

Luna d’Oro, 2019 Egyptian Marble,

48cm x 3cm x 50cm; This small

shield based on a flat seashell bears a

band of marks, delineating its shape.

Its golden colour reminds one of the

moon in a night sky.

Falena d’Oro 1, 2019 Egyptian Marble,

90cm x 63cm x 3.5cm; A moth

is a creature of the night, that when

bathed in golden light, either merges

with the surface it finds itself on,

or starts unfolding, soaring into the

night to find light.

Falena d’Oro 2, 2019 Egyptian Marble,

100cm x 70cm x 4cm;

Here the moth is like an origami folded

piece of paper. Yet the surface

bears marks and scratches alluding

to it being a tender shield on the

wall, before being the delicate creature

of the night.

Bestia Romana, 2009 Travertine,

Statuario Marble, 96cm x 100cm

x 183cm; This sculpture is a heavy

solid piece with horns permanently

glued in. The presence of this

sculpture emphasizes the duality of

nature through it’s permanence on

the one hand and it’s lightness and

unpredictability on the other, here

represented by the white horns that

sling around the beast’s head without

ever touching it. The original

shape forces you to circumnavigate

the sculpture as it is unpredictable

in its form. “Bestia Romana” gets its

name from the large block of Roman

Travertine that it towers with pride

and presence.


Shields and horns are means for protection.

They offer a place of security, but

they make you mobile, too, as they become

extensions of the self.

The Shield is freestanding, unlike those

that lean against a block of material, a

column or part of an edifice. It turns on

the custom hardware, not easily, but with

some low torque when pushed by hand.

The surface is rough, like broken skin,

revealing a pattern of the mechanical

movement that carved its very being out

of this large block of marble. Up close I

can engage with the surface as a soft entity,

stepping away its circumference is a

large embrace. The measure of woman as

I spread my wings.

I have been pondering the

meaning of art and am hoping that in

post pandemic times there will be

a need for work that taps into

humanist values, work that is not

reactionary but has optimism radiating

from within.

(Vanessa Paschakarnis)

I do engage with Bestia Umana in a very

similar way. This new horned creature is

standing high and its smoothly finished

head is pulling out of a tall, grey block of


I would like you to look with your

knees, feel with your eyes

and see with your elbows.

Sculpture is a catalyst for all our

senses and it exists in order

to question who we are next to it.

(Vanessa Paschakarnis)

The horns lift up like arms in a creamy rose

coloured marble with salmon coloured

tips. You don’t know how far you can fly

if you don’t spread your wings. This new

horned being is alive and stoic in the presence

with the horns rising like arms, like

wings, but halting, resting, before daring

to take off.

Both sculptures are a metaphor for the human

spirit as a wild young thing that needs

to be protected and tamed.

Detail of Bestia Romana, 2009;

Travertine, Statuario Marble,

96cm x 100cm x 183cm;

The object based sculpture by Vanessa

Paschakarnis seeks to confront the viewer

literally on a one to one level, physically

responding to our platform for action and

the viewer becomes the other, feeling her

way through a new surrounding full of

positive potential. Feeling grounded. vip


Horned Being (Bestia Umana), 2020

by Vanessa Paschakarnis

Bardiglio marble, Portuguese marble, 184 cmx 70cm x 60cm



The sculpture Bestia Umana

(Horned Being) is an “awesome”

reminder of the human will being

a wild thing, something we should

care for with “awe”.

(Vanessa Paschakarnis)




E installation


S 2020








All images in this feature on the installation of “The Sirens’ Calling”

are by ©Raoul Manuel Schnell; Text by Vanessa Paschakarnis



Mirror finishes on a sculpture open up the

surrounding and include us in the act of

Art. They make the world more visible in

it’s threedimensional reality.


Because of the global pandemic we were stuck

in Tuscany until the end of the month of August,

a fact for which we do not seem to get much

sympathy, and so the installation of “The Calling”

had to be postponed for a few months. Needless to

say that the Queen’s Marque was also a bit behind

on their schedule. We had planned to hire our Irish

angel, Finbarr Sheehan to do the install for us, but

because of the state of emergency rules this was

out of the question.

So, fresh out of our quarantine upon arrival in

Canada, John and myself hit the ground running.

We narrowed down our dates with Blaise Morrison,

our trusted liaison for the entire project and we are

proud to say that we lived up to expectations and

completed the installation in two days plus one day

preparation on site.

The large monoliths are 5 tons each with holes

drilled for the subtle lighting. Adam Cudmore had

to find us a forklift to move these blocks onto the

interior piazza, a very difficult site logistically, due

to narrow and low access and a buzz of activity all

around us. Brady Rhodenizer joined our team as the

Electrician who doesn’t shy away from the most

curious tasks, as wiring up a few granite rocks. Last

but not least, we asked Manuel Schnell to come on

site and document our monumental task.

In the images on these pages you can see us working

concentrated and with lots of attention from

the workers on site as the mesmerizing Sirens were

one by one lifted on the tall stone elements and

unwrapped. The first one was like a magnet on the

waterfront, joined by three more to identify the

Cardinal positions.

We can’t wait for the official unveiling hopefully in

the spring of 2021 when the Queen’s Marque will

open to the public. What a wonderful site to develop

under the personal direction of Scott McCrea.

The Sirens’ Calling is a private commission for the

Queen’s Marque, but it will be publicly accessible.

This sculpture by John Greer was realized through

Intercontinental Sculpture, with Project Management

by Vanessa Paschakarnis.


The Calling by John Greer:

The spirit of movement, the wind, desire, was

often represented as a bird with a human head.

This is a metaphor of imagination, the desire to

soar and to realize, to bring into the world what our


mind conceives.

The power of the Sirens in the epic “The Odyssey”

shows the beauty and the danger the sirens represent.

They have the power to seduce and transfix.

Ulysses is fully aware of the human willpower needed

to resist the summons.

There is a beautiful stillness behind everything

and as a living, engaged human consciousness

our callings are tempered by the reflective presence

of this stillness. In order to step or go forward

we must know the place from where we step, otherwise

we descend into chaos and madness.

In my sculpture titled “The Calling”, I represent

these ideas in the form of four archaic Greek figures

sourced from standing archaic marble carvings.

These known and existing carvings have clothing

and hairstyles that I am utilizing to represent the

four cardinal positions of the compass. In my sculpture

I reduced the front of these life-size figures

to a flat, two-dimensional surface, mirror-polished

stainless steel. The backs of these figures are fully

articulated in their archaic style. They are in the

traditional posture of the stepping figure, the left

foot slightly forward, indicating deliberate forward

moving potential. These figures are standing in a

row. They hold their individual space, but are a united

front. This arrested moment or movement represents

the engaged stillness, the state of wonder.

They are each grounded on a large block of black

granite, a block showing the evidence of being taken

from the earth and placed on the earth.

Granite, unlike marble, is the very core material

of the Earth itself. The figures are centred on

a large monolith – facing the respective direction

that they represent as Cardinal points. The front

of the figures, being silhouettes, can be perceived

frontally as a figure stepping forward or receding,

stepping away. Going out into the world and coming

back in order to reflect. They are not about vanity,

but about vision as they open our gaze towards

the surroundings and the sky.

The Sirens overlooking the harbour act as a

metaphor: The “going-out” to engage with

the world, the public act and the call of the safe

haven, the harbour, the private place of reflection.

The arresting sound of the siren on an emergency

vehicle causes us to pause and wonder, to take in

where we are at the very moment in relation to the

sounding call. The experience is a kind of reflection

of position. The word “siren” and its implication of

danger echoes back to one of the foundations of

western culture, Greek literature. It is a reverberation

in time – bringing the past into the present.




La Chiamata di John Greer

Traduzione in Italiano di Vanessa Paschakarnis

Lo spirito di movimento, il vento, il desiderio, era

spesso rappresentato come un uccello con una

testa umana. Questo è una metafora dell’immaginazione,

il desiderio di salire e di realizzare, di

portare in nostro mondo quello che concepisce la

nostra mente.

Il potere delle Sirene nell’epico L’odissea mostra

la bellezza e il pericolo che rappresentano le Sirene.

Loro hanno il potere di sedurre e trafiggere.

Ulisse è pienamente consapevole della forza di

volontà umana necessaria per resistere al richiamo.


’è un silenzio bellissimo dietro qualunque cosa

e come coscienza umana viva e impegnata,

le nostre chiamate sono mitigate dalla presenza

riflessiva di questo silenzio. Per fare un passo o

andare avanti, dobbiamo conoscere il posto da

dove facciamo un passo, altrimenti scendiamo nel

caos e la follia.

La scultura con il titolo “La Chiamata”, rappresenta

queste idee in forma di quattro figure arcaiche della

Grecia, che si basano su sculture arcaiche di marmo

in piedi. Queste sculture esistenti e conosciute hanno

abbigliamento e acconciature che sto utilizzando

per rappresentare i quattro punti cardinali della

bussola. Nella mia scultura, ho ridotto il davanti

delle sculture a grandezza naturale a una superficie

piana e bidimensionale, fatto di acciaio inossidabile,

lucidata a specchio.

Le parti posteriori di queste figure sono completamente

articolate nel loro stile arcaico. Sono nella

posizione tradizionale della figura che fa un passo,

con il piede sinistro leggermente avanti, indicando

un potenziale movimento intenzionale in avanti.

Queste figure tengono i loro spazi individuali, ma

sono un fronte unito. Questo momento o movimento

arrestato rappresenta l’immobilità impegnata, lo

stato di meraviglia.

Sono entrambi radicati su un grande blocco di granito,

un monolito, mettendo in evidenza di essere

stato preso dalla terra e posto sulla terra.


Il Granito a differenza del marmo è il materiale

fondamentale della terra stessa. Le figure sono

centrate nei monoliti, rivolti verso le rispettive

direzioni che rappresentano come punti cardinali.

La parte anteriore delle figure, essere “silhouette”,

può essere percepito frontalmente come una

figura che fa un passo avanti, o si allontana: uscire

nel mondo e tornare per riflettere. Non si tratta di

vanità, ma della visione, mentre aprono il nostro

sguardo verso l’ambiente e il cielo.

Le Sirene con vista sul porto, fungono da metafora.

L’ “uscire” per interagire con il mondo, l’atto

pubblico, il richiamo del rifugio sicuro, il porto, il

luogo privato di riflessione. Il suono di arresto della

sirena su un veicolo di emergenza ci fa fermare per

renderci conto dove siamo al momento riguardo

alla chiamata dal suono. L’esperienza è una riflessione

della posizione. La parola “Sirena” e la sua

implicazione di pericolo risuona in uno dei punti

della cultura occidentale, la letteratura greca. È

un reverbero nel tempo, che porta il passato nel



Stairs to



Text and images by

Vanessa Paschakarnis

in our Studi


n proceeds

o Paradiso.




What a wonderful adventure we got ourselves

into – building in Italy. We have

an amazing team at work around our engineer

Rossano Forassiepi and Luca da Prato, a builder /

stone mason and our protector in so many ways.

We have been asked how we met Luca – well he

came with our warehouse. He built the partition

wall and we hired him first when John looked

up eleven meters and suggested enthusiastically

that we can start in here by painting the

new wall ourselves. I met his sparkly eyes with

silence. I can’t climb up there, let alone hold a

brush and paint unglazed ceramic blocks. So

we hired Luca and his assistant Francesco Lari

to paint their way down as they dismantled the

staging. He gave us a really good price for it and

this is how it all began.

We envisioned our apartment in our Paradiso

since we signed the contract and took ownership

in May of 2018. We bought part of a large

warehouse and with it a nice size courtyard, all

tucked away from the busy main street we are

on, facing toward the lower end of the apuan

alps. We are in a dual zone so that we can build

a custodian apartment in our working studio.

The building permit was approved in September

2019. So here we are, an impressive steel structure

forms our house inside the warehouse. All

earthquake proof with a massive structure below

ground level. The steel beams hold up two

levels of concrete poured into steel laminate.

The foundation is 60cm of concrete with about

three tons of steel armature buried inside. If or

when the Earth starts shaking, we will run inside

for safety.

Days of breaking concrete were followed by

excavation machinery inside. Exciting days were

those when the cement trucks come and their

long, joy-stick steered arms unfold through the

clouds to end up pumping the grey mass into

carefully prepared moulds.

In these images you can get a bit of an impression

of life on a construction site. It is, however

separated from our carving area outside, so

that we can creatively pursue our work while

we watch our apartment slowly coming to life.

These are the first stages of the shell including

plumbing and electricity buried largely in the

floor, because we strange artists do not want to

have any walls. Things are proceeding to finish

the main structure including the catwalk along

our window front before the end of winter. vip




Text and images by

Vanessa Paschakarnis unless otherwise noted

John Greer’s works on







Clockwise from top:

Twice Removed, 2018 (private

collection England) Statuario

Marble, 73cm x 44cm x 19cm;

photo ©James Brittain Photography

From Old Money,2012;

Guatemala green Marble,

French red Marble, 110cm x

55cm x 45cm;

Pre-Money, 2011 (private collection

Switzerland), Granite, Travertine

150cm x 23cm x 170cm

Cowry Revisited, 2018

(Private Collection Oxford, England)

Iranian Travertine,

68cm x 44cm x 20cm; photo

©James Brittain Photography

Pre-Money, 2011; Travertine, black granite; private

collection Switzerland; From Old Money, 2012 Guatemala

green marble, French red marbel;


Art is a form of cultural currency. The abstraction of value has enabled many cultures to

thrive. The invention of coinage to represent the ideas of services and goods creates a

flow, a current of ideas, a body of thought. This is what culture is made up of: the body

of abstracted ideas that we share in our culture is our reality. Each culture has its own

reality, its own values. (John Greer)

“With my money works

I am thinking a lot

about value

systems regarding

art and life

and ideas within objects

... and objects as carriers

of ideas of value.”

John Greer.

Top : Balanced, 2016

Travertine, black granite;

153cm x 95cm x 100cm high

Below: Echo, 2019

Plaster, painted;

137cm x 90cm x 40cm


Money Wagon, 2013; Iranian Travertine, 168.5cm x 35cm x 143cm

Fuse, 2013; Iranian Travertine, 170cm x 145cm x 45cm


John started his explorations of value systems

a few years back when he was shortlisted for a

commission for a government agency that finances

small businesses in third-world countries. His idea

was a cascading of oversized coins coming down a

column at the main entrance of the building with

the lowest one sort of hip-high so that one could

rub it for good luck on the way to work. This coin

was to depict a sheath of wheat. The proposal

was not chosen, but John’s curiosity was sparked.

Immediately John thought of the abstract concept

of value systems. Coinage, to him, is an invention

somewhere up there with fire in regard to its influence

on the direction of humankind. War could

not have been fought and trade would not have

exploded without the concept of money as an abstract

value. The depictions on coinage are symbols

deeply connected to power, politics and culture of

a people.

Art, to John Greer is a comparable powerful value

system, yet its mechanisms are a parallel force to

that of economics. While art is a commodity, its

true purpose is that beyond economic value. Art

is powerful through its contribution as a voice and

mirror of a society. Curiously Greer chose the coins

he used based on aesthetics and symbolism. It is

Vision of Paradise, interrupted, 2019; 14cm x 15cm x 5.5cm;

plastic, metal; Paper Money, 2013, suite 1-3, each print

120cm x 80cm, viscosity printed plexiglas engraving; (in the

collections of the IMF, Washington DC and Frost Bank, San

Antonio, TX USA).

cowry shells turn into curious creatures, not only

because they have these openings reminiscent of

a pair of eyes watching you from deep inside the

crevice of the shell. They recall our dependence

on natural resources and question how a cultural

construct starts to adapt nature and need.

In John’s work the beauty of the skilled execution

is an entrance to the layered meaning of his

thoughtful approach. While it is important to him

that any sculpture works formally as an object,

the true power is revealed when you start to

question, asking “Why is this here?” “Why now?”

“I have given much thought regarding the value of Art. The art object is first a manifestation

of the artist voice, a statement in form. It’s true cost is live itself - it takes time - both

to realize and also to contemplate. A voice not heard is lost or has no value. Art is a power

transaction - a form of currency, and like other currencies, its context is a significant

component of its value.” John Greer

important for him to utilize images based on real

coinage that was in circulation at some point, but

he realized fast, that what he considered the most

beautiful were not necessarily the most valuable.

However, the coins that he picked to transform into

concepts of art through sculpture and printmaking

were often those that symbolized change in the

current media, as for example a particular design

of an owl on a Greek coin that was used in various

newspapers when Greece was going through its

monetary crisis as part of the European Union.

John Greer wonders about why and when humans

felt the need to invent money in order to manifest

transaction. The cowry shell for example was an

early form of money. It has had its ups and downs

and was replicated in bone and stone as currency

when it got scarce before it disappeared due to

inflation. Of course as sculptures, those re-scaled

And “How does it relate to where and who I

am?” He is a master in weaving clever connections

through imagery and subject matter that

come alive through a timely approach in a very

timeless connection to our reality as humans.

I find his work to be deeply humanist in that he

has this unfaltering trust in us to be responsible

and responsive creatures. Yes, John seduces his

viewers with beauty in the details and a re-enactment

of things that we can connect with and

love, but he guides us to go further and gain

confidence in our own questioning of things

gone, and ongoing now. Value systems are at the

core of what we take to heart, abstract and very

directly in our everyday life. By pointing his fingers

right into taboos and hot topics, John Greer

doesn’t close chapters, but invites us to engage

and ignite in a most optimistic way. vip



“Taboo” is one object, looking like three. It represents

the international connectedness of cultures

and the dynamic separateness of these. Together

and apart.

(John Greer)

Taboo, 2011/2012

In the collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Iranian Travertine, 67cm x 150cm x 170cm (26” x 59” x 67”)


A Brief History

White Italian marble, Travertine, 3 elements;

Bridge Money: 180cm x 15cm x 120cm high

Spade Money: 180cm x 10cm x 180cm high

Sword Money: 40cm x 13cm x 190cm high


of Money, 2014

“This three-part work is based on existing early coins from

China, before coins were round. Spade money, bridge

money and sword money were some of the shapes used.

Coins are a very early form of abstracted value. I chose

these three shapes for their symbolic value. Sustenance -

the spade, crossing the divide – the bridge and defense or

territorial expansion – the sword. These are basic goals of

human needs symbolizing commercial values and/ or moral

values.” (John Greer)



Text and images by

Vanessa Paschakarnis

Polich Tallix / UAP















Polich Tallix is a large professional foundry

that allows and invites artists on the floor to

oversee and participate in the complex process

from maquette and pattern to a finished bronze

or metal sculpture. The team around Mike List

is casting stainless steel for us. John’s Sirens ask

for careful finishing as their back is cast and the

front is a mirror polished plate that has to be

welded to the casting so that there is no visual

distortion. Not many foundries touch this kind

of procedure, because of the high heat necessary

and careful atmospheric monitoring to

avoid ferrous contamination.

We hired Vanessa Hoheb, a trusted collaborator

and highly skilled professional craftswoman

who knows the processes in the foundry inside

out. She is our consultant to effectively communicate

with the foundry because we are not

able to travel on short notice to make decisions

on site.

The existing patterns of these four sculptures

that were modeled and detailed by John in a

modified plaster were used to make chemically

bonded sand molds. A few undercuts had to

be made into piece moulds. Once cast, the real

work of finishing and refining a cast begins.

Internal armatures have to be mounted to

fasten a mounting pin. Many skilled artisans are

at work to bring a stainless steel sculpture into


There is much excitement when you finally see

and feel a cast sculpture after you have envisioned

and planned it for weeks and months.

The Sirens are a special presence through their

austere and confident stance. They exude a

confirmation of existence in the reflection of

their fronts. It is as if they awaken their surroundings.

The buzz of a busy workshop is

heightened and muted at the same time, opening

a window outside of time.

Look closely and you see the different surfaces.

Scratches and traces have to be redefined to

translate into the artist’s hand, process marks

have to be hidden. Skilled technicians have to

start seeing what the artist was looking for in

all the rendered details, or the absence thereof.

Look closely and learn to see. Through liquid

metal you can redefine tenderness for eternity.





In this image you see the transition between

the cast material and the polished

plate. Seemless, fluid and simply beautiful.

When craftsmanship is so refined that you

don’t see it, you have arrived.



by Vanessa

am surrounded by art. I wake up with

I sculpture in my head and am surrounded

by it. Things, objects. Also drawings. Prints.

Then paintings. The paintings in our house

are usually objects of desire traded with

a friend or fellow artist. My “Houseplant”

painting is one of those. I hung it on a very

private wall, one that is well lit, bare of

too many distractions and close to where I

spend quality time.

My “Houseplant” is more like the shadow

of a houseplant. It is dark grey in colour on

a blue grey amorphous background, blocking

the view on two small paintings hanging

on a wall in the distance. Like two eyes

watching, but hiding out of view.

The plant or the shadow thereof is dynamic

in the foreground, cut off by the size of the

canvas. That, what this painting is about,

seems to be outside of the picture frame.

I gravitated to this painting because my

understanding of the shadow is different

from what most people perceive, I am told.

For me, a shadow is three-dimensional,

not a two-dimensional image on a surface.

A shadow is the mass or volume of space

that is separated by a person, an object, an

animal from the sun or a light source. The

planes we see are just the visual boundaries

of a shadow. I imagine a threedimensional

amorphous form. A lot of my

sculpture is based on that understanding.

A shadow is more true to reality than a

reflection, because it does not turn things

around. It obscures things. It is the most

direct confirmation of being.

I don’t mind. I like it’s fuzzy undetermined presence.

If it falls, it will give clear sight for the gaze

of those paintings. Yet, in full view, they will turn

around and become paintings again. My own extended


Brian was a very existential thinker. When you

know the painter as a friend, it gives you additional

insight. The modest scale of the painting makes

it perfect for a personal experience. The paint is

applied with pleasure for the material. I can’t help,

but think sometimes that the “Houseplant” may be

a bit of an introspective self-portrait. The plant is

a silent observer in a private place. If it was listening

and who knows, it may very well be, it would

have stories to tell, secrets to pass on. Brian was a

master in creating austere, still, existential scenes.

No clutter, just the distilled essence that turned humans

into objects, things into living creatures and

silence into a scream.

My “Houseplant” painting is very silent. It is very

present in its monotonous blue-grey. It is a a silent

conversation for me during the day, the shadow

confirming my being here right now. vip


The houseplant falls out of the picture

plane right into real space. It continues in

my own realm.

Why do people always have negative

associations with the idea of a shadow? It

reveals the other side, the dark side. Yet, it

only occurs during the positive encounter

of light. It gives shelter when the light gets

too hot. Thus my houseplant is dark.

Houseplant is a painting by Brian Burke.

Luna Blu

Come un corpo celeste

Acqua profonda

Fuori di questo mondo

Come una conchiglia aperta, trovata sulla spiaggia

Durante la notte della luna piena

Che apre le meraviglie della vita.

(La scultura “Blue Moon” è di Vanessa Paschakarnis)

View of our Paradiso yard with a rainbow framing it.



Detail of The Sirens’ Calling, 2020; in the collection of Queen’s Marque, Halifax, NS Canada

Artist: John Greer; Project Management: Vanessa Paschakarnis; Realization: Intercontinental Sculpture Inc.

www.intercontinentalsculpture.com; info@intercontinentalsculpture.com

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