Sculptures in Kingston, Ontario: A Photo Essay

Updated on August 31, 2017
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Simon's background is in biomedical and health science. He also writes about fashion, nature, and photography.


I was in Montreal for four years trying to complete my graduate degree in physiology. It was difficult and I didn't do very well. Many of my projects didn't take off and I didn't get much data. As a result, I was thoroughly stressed. This lead to me becoming mentally ill. I eventually withdrew from my graduate program. Gradually, I lost interest in biomedical research altogether.

Later, a new love entered my life. It was art. I started visiting local galleries to view art that was on display. I even began to do some art of my own, working with pastels. Art brought me joy and pleasure. It was the one thing that brought me out of my depression.

In 2015, I began to take up digital photography as another art form. I had taken photography in high school and really loved it. I thought I would also enjoy it now. Consequently, I brought a new but basic DSLR camera in December 2015. It didn't take me too long to get use to my new camera. I instantly loved taking photographs, of flowers and other plants, and architecture. I loved that I could appreciate them later on my computer. Photography became my new passion.

Last week, I saw a photo of a sculpture on TV or on my computer I can't remember. I was immediately inspired to do a photo essay on the sculptures in Kingston, Ontario, where I live. This allowed me to do two thing that I love, art and photography.

On a Friday morning, I took my camera with a 50mm f/1.8 lens to capture the wonderful art that was in Kingston. Please join me in this photographic tour of the sculptures of Kingston, Ontario.

Five Sculptures

The first stop on this tour is Queen's University, more specifically south east of Jeffery Hall, home of the Math Department. There are three remaining pieces in this ensemble sculpture entitled "Five Sculptures on Topological Themes." Two of the original pieces have been removed. The work was done by artist Alan Dickson in 1972.

I took several pictures of this sculpture from different positions, and what you see below is to me the best photo. What I especially love is the invisible descending line created by the decreasing heights of the three pieces. Your eye starts at the highest piece and move diagonally down across the photo to the lowest piece or vice versa. To me it suggests movement downward or diagonally across the photo.

Five Sculptures on Topological Themes

Five Sculptures on Topological Themes by Alan Dickson, 1972
Five Sculptures on Topological Themes by Alan Dickson, 1972 | Source

Ground Outline

We cross Queen's campus and step in front of Theological Hall. In the front lawn of Theological Hall is a sculpture entitled "Ground Outline" by Peter Kolisnyk. It was completed in 1978. It looks like an enormous white, wide, metal frame. When you look through it, it looks like someone has taken a gigantic photograph of the scene in front of you.

I believe this is one of the more flattering views of this sculpture. It is a slight side view of it and included in this photograph are the handsome trees and Theological Hall that frame the sculpture.

Ground Outline

Ground Outline by Peter Kolisnyk, 1978
Ground Outline by Peter Kolisnyk, 1978 | Source


Our next stop is in MacDonald Park, near the Kingston General Hospital and close to Queen's Campus and Lake Ontario. Here, we find the sculpture "Pollution" by Yves Cozin, completed in the 70's. It is comprised of two horizontal cylinders lying on top of an amorphous pile of coloured cement.

I particularly love the simplicity of this photo. There are really just a few elements in the photo, the sculpture, the sky, the lake, the grass and that one tiny tree peeking over the cylinder. The simplicity of the photo is congruent with the simplicity of the sculpture.


Pollution by Yves Cozin, 1970s
Pollution by Yves Cozin, 1970s | Source


We head a short distance west to Breakwater Park to find our next sculpture. This one is called "Time" by Kosso Eloul. It was constructed in 1973. The sculpture is a two-piece metal arrangement that almost but never touches. To me it has always reminded me of two people about to kiss.

When I was capturing this photo, there was a bit of construction going on one side of the sculpture so I avoided taking pictures of the construction zone. There was also an ugly picnic table underneath the piece so I couldn't take shots in front of it. This was the only pleasant view of it. I like the simplicity of this view. But I think it does suffer from a slight overexposure.


Time by Kosso Eloul, 1973
Time by Kosso Eloul, 1973 | Source

Staking Shapes?

Our last stop is in front of City Hall in Confederation Park by Lake Ontario. Here, is where you will find a sculpture that I believe is entitled "Staking Shapes" by artist Walter Redinger. I'm not sure when it was completed. It is a black metal piece that I have seen many children play on.

I was not very successful at capture this sculpture. The majority of my shots, nine in all, turned out terribly. They were either not focused properly or were way overexposed. Even in this photo you can see the background is overexposed.

I do like this view of it though. It reminds me of large boulders. Almost like I'm being taken to a high up mountain and I'm seeing these rock formations in an exotic location. It's a temporary escape from the city.

Staking Shapes

Staking Shapes by Walter Redinger?
Staking Shapes by Walter Redinger? | Source

Closing Remarks

We have traveled through Queen's Campus, to several parks close to the waterfront, and to the city's most beloved area, Confederation Park. We have seen a variety of sculptures, from small ones like the "Five Sculptures on Topological Themes" near Jeffery Hall to large ones like "Time" in Breakwater Park. There are of course a few sculptures in Kingston that we have missed but perhaps we will see them in the future. I hope you have enjoyed this photographic sculpture tour as much as I have enjoyed making it.


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