Arts·Art Minute

Waiting for heart surgery, he thought the hospital atrium could use a sculpture. Now he's making one

After his surgery at the Vancouver General Hospital, sculptor David Robinson was commissioned to fill an atrium with his imagination.

'I spent a lot of time sitting in that particular atrium looking into that space'

Waiting for heart surgery he thought the hospital atrium could use a sculpture. Now he’s making one

5 years ago
Duration 1:05
“I spent a lot of time sitting in that particular atrium looking into that space thinking about what I would put there if I was given the opportunity.”

"I spent a lot of time sitting in that particular atrium looking into that space thinking about what I would put there if I was given the opportunity."

To treat a heart defect, sculptor David Robinson had open heart surgery at the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. Now, he's followed through on his vision for an installation in the hospital's seven storey glass atrium — creating a figure sitting in "kind of a flying sailboat."

Yaletown by David Robinson. (David Robinson)

Not only is making this sculpture a meaningful emotional experience for Robinson, but it's also a technically challenging one. "Hanging something in there is logistically a big deal so there's lots of engineers," he says. "The tough part with the engineers is just convincing them that you're not a complete artsy flake. Once they realize that you might actually know how to build stuff, then you know you can get along just fine."

Art Minute is a CBC Arts series taking you inside the minds of Canadian artists to hear what makes them tick and the ideas behind their work.

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