John B. Mors


  Take of Tour of the
2013 Sculpture on the Grounds

You are invited to take a self-guided tour of six sculptures displayed on the grounds of Rockville’s Civic Center Park located at Baltimore Road and Edmonston Drive. The artwork is part of the 2010 Sculpture on the Grounds display, a temporary exhibition on loan to the City of Rockville. The exhibit represents various styles and media and will be on display through October, 2013.

Programs for self-guided tours, which include artists’ statements, biographical information, and site locations, are available on the first floor of Glenview Mansion at Rockville Civic Center Park.

This temporary exhibit is part of the Art In Public Places Program and is sponsored by the Recreation and Parks Department.

John Mors

Arlington, Va.

Artist's Statement

Inherent in sculpture is the issue of object vs. subject. As a manufactured item, a sculpture is first and foremost an object because it occupied space. But sculptures are invariably about something. This something is the subject, which sets the frame of reference and the context. The issue of sculpture is the uneasy fight for dominance of object or subject.

In my work, I play with this dichotomy of the existence of sculpture. I aim to produce sculpture that is subject but which on closer inspection is object, and vice versa. That is the reason for my choice of steel as a medium, for it has no inherent or assumed subject.

I read "The Wind in the Willows" over 10 years ago, and yet it was only last year that I started to move it into sculpture.

Moving an image into sculpture has always been a long journey of exploration for me.

For any sculpture, it starts with a lot of looking, and even more reading. For mole, I read about Kenneth Graham including the original letters to his son which were the basis of the story. I watched a couple of movies; not for images but to see how mole related to others and how others related to him. I visited the Smithsonian Naturalist Center at Leesburg to look at specimens of moles, and I looked at skeletons.

All the while, I drew.

Once I felt that I had an idea of what I wanted the sculpture to be, I drew up a rough idea of the sculpture and picked the steel elements.

I then started to build the character, stopping only occasionally to refer to source materials to validate that an idea was true to the subject.

Making sculpture is a journey of discovery, as was mole's move to the riverbank.

My preoccupation has always been with Mole, who is an unassuming character, yet the narrative thread of “The Wind in the Willows.” He was the first sculpture completed.

This, Toad, is the second sculpture in the series.

Toad is the opposite of mole, being bombastic and arrogant. The piece is based on the time when he first encounters a car, and having been dislodged from his wagon, sits in the middle of the road, somewhat despondent “At intervals he was still heard to murmur “Poop-poop!” Interestingly, this is one of the few scenes that appear in all of “The Wind in the Willows” movies, being the commencement for Toad’s adventure in mischief.

I hope to do more in this series, but my preoccupation has always been with mole, who is an unassuming character, yet the narrative thread of "The Wind in the Willows."

Toad 2013.
34” x 24” x 19”



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