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Conspiracy of Ravens

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John McKinnon


Bronze, Steel

Installation Date

July 1, 2012

The commission for this sculpture was made possible through a generous donation from Noreen Blake. Noreen and Bob Blake spent summers in the Haliburton Highlands for over 60 years. They watched the growth of the Haliburton School of The Arts and both took a wide range of courses throughout the years. Although Noreen did not call herself an artist, she created beautiful work in a wide variety of media throughout her life. She was active for many years as a volunteer with the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and served as the coordinator of their art rental shop. This involved travelling to meet artists and select work from their studios throughout southern Ontario. Noreen always tookan interest in the art scene in the Highlands and for a number of years served as a tour guide for the Sculpture Forest. Inspired by the donations of sculptures by individuals such as Janis Parker and Diana Ferguson, she decided it was her turn. She proposed a sculpture competition with the theme “Avian Fauna” (birds of the region). Fifty-five artists from five provinces and two states submitted 60 proposals. A jury whittled that number down to seven and then Noreen made the final selection.

The jury and Noreen loved the movement of the swooping birds of John’s proposed sculpture and the unique character of each raven. The title “A Conspiracy of Ravens” inspires the question, “What are they up to?” John’s impressive body of work of expressive outdoor metal sculptures gave everyone confidence that “A Conspiracy of Ravens” would be a wonderful addition to the Haliburton Sculpture Forest. Noreen lived to see the installation of the 'Conspiracy of Ravens" in the summer of 2012. Noreen passed away in her 90th year in 2013.

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