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Colin Figue: Smoking Mirror’s Return. Belize Sculpture Symposium 2011

Colin Figue’s second public commission in Central America was an intense and challenging experience within a unique working environment where seven international artists were invited to make monumental stone sculptures for the Belize Sculpture Symposium 2011 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Belizean Independence. Figue was inspired by the savage beauty and empowered dynamics of Pre Columbian sculpture and architecture.

“The inset glittering is a fragment of mirror that I found at Lamanai, the remote pre classic Mayan site in NW Belize, which felt like a portent, acted as the catalyst for my sculpture and which I later set in the surface of the piece.”

“Hot, wet, steamy Belize and a rough at the edges symposium. Whilst I admire these guys nerve and initiative in setting it up, much was to be desired in terms of conditions and it was a challenge that exceeded predictions. The blocks, when they arrived were huge brutal pieces full of faults and fissures that must have been lying exposed for years. No attempts at precuts had been made, projects had to be abandoned. It was almost a week before we could get going, before electricity was installed. Most problems were down to inexperience and lack of funding. Yet most sculptors will put up with a lot if the end result is a large new work, and whilst there were many difficulties to be faced these were mitigated by occasions of genuine hospitality and rare chances to visit  sites of natural wonder and architectural brilliance.

Meanwhile, we swam in the coral reef among luminous fishes and sped miles up river to the inspirational Mayan site of Lamanai, to prepare for the graft ahead. Music made the world go round. The assistants were brilliant despite lack of expertise. Getting a new piece out against the odds feels good, out of adversity…

Belize City where we were working is a very strange place indeed in all it’s diversity, and Huxley not far from the mark when he remarked on a visit in the 1930s “If the end of the world had any ends, British Honduras would certainly be one of them.” Apart from the Governor’s mansion, a few decaying remnants of British supremacy, a few flash villas, hotels and marinas, the rest felt impermanent. The threat of hurricanes imminent.”

The Belize Sculpture Symposium 2011 was organized by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), in partnership with Jock Hildebrand Arts Portal Inc., as part of the 30th Anniversary of Belizean Independence, granted on September 21st, 1981. The international artists, included Jock Hildebrand, Canan Somnezdag, Roland Meyer, Petre Petrov and Florin Strejac.

Images: Colin Figue. Smoking Mirror’s return, 2011.  Limestone, 120 x 230 x 160 cm. Collection: National Institute of Culture & History, Belize



About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


2 thoughts on “Colin Figue: Smoking Mirror’s Return. Belize Sculpture Symposium 2011

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    Posted by http://tinyurl.com/cityjohns57406 | January 16, 2013, 9:16 am


  1. Pingback: Colin Figue: Eyes of the Beholder / In-between Worlds. Sculpture commissions in India. « AAJ Press - January 11, 2013

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