A Quiet Beauty Assumes Our Valley

The work is located in the lobby of the Kelowna Community Theatre at 1375 Water Street.

The Work

One hundred and twenty heavily-carved stoneware tiles are arranged in a large, colourful mural depicting the many moods and hues of the Okanagan landscape.

Bob Kingsmill’s mural is an extension of the landscape. Kingsmill’s vision draws from the land – the undulating hills, the geometric symmetry of orchards and vineyards, the shimmering hues and the changeable moods of Okanagan Lake.

“I’ve listened to people talk for hours about the symbolism of my murals, and I have no idea what they’re talking about. I just hope my work brings some soul, spirit and heart to the city we’re sharing. Art vents human expression, endeavour and play, and it makes us healthier.” (Kingsmill, 1999).

The intricately-carved piece features Celtic knotwork and repeated design elements. It measures just under 3.7m wide and 1.2m high, stretching to 1.7m at the centre. The mural weighs approximately 136kg and consists of 120 sculpturally patterned 20cm-square tiles.

Using 2 different stoneware clays, Kingsmill blended and slab rolled them to achieve a consistent thickness and compression. Due to the mural’s size he had to custom build a table that was large enough to hold the entire piece. Intricate cross-hatching and carving then transformed the smooth slab into sculptural patterns and textures.

The Project

The mural was installed 4 1/2 months after award of the $13,500 commission. The dedication/unveiling took place in March 2000.

The Artist

Born in Vancouver in 1941, Bob spent his childhood in Winnipeg where he earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1964. A full-time artist/potter since the age of 26, Bob has always focused on ceramics, with a particular interest in stoneware and raku. His wall murals hang in homes and public buildings in Canada and many countries around the world, while his masks are widely collected.