Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 14:34 UK

Sculptor exhibits at Olympic site

Strange Meeting by John Atkin
The sculpture was created in a workshop in China

A County Durham sculptor has beaten thousands of artists from all over the world to have one of his works placed outside Beijing's Olympic stadium.

John Atkin's "Strange Meeting" is to be unveiled as part of the 2008 Games opening ceremony in China on Friday.

The artist, from Darlington, was one of more than 2,500 who applied to have their work displayed in Olympic Park.

The two-piece granite and marble sculpture was inspired by Wilfred Owen's poem Strange Meeting.

Mr Atkin is the only UK artist to have been commissioned by the Beijing Municipal Government to exhibit his work in a massive public display of art in the city's Olympic Park.

The sculpture consists of two identical shapes, echoing the human figure and derived from garment templates.

The Chinese workforce was wonderfully organised and diligent in their interpretation of my directions
John Atkin

One form is positioned upright, the other lying down.

The space between the two sections frames views of the spaces bordering the Olympic Park.

The 3.5m x 3.5m (11.5ft x 11.5ft) artwork, which weighs 27 tons, was created in a stone yard in China.

Mr Atkin, who is a reader in fine art at Loughborough University, said his artwork was inspired by Wilfred Owen's poem, which recounts a dreamlike encounter between a soldier and the enemy he had killed the day before.

The soldiers, who had fought on opposing sides, are no longer enemies and find it possible to see beyond conflict and hatred in a shared awareness of "the truth untold".

He said: "The Chinese workforce was wonderfully organised and diligent in their interpretation of my directions.

"Working with the Chinese on this project proved to be a stimulating period for me personally."




SEE ALSO
China confident of safe Olympics
05 Aug 08 |  Asia-Pacific

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific