1st July 2019
Local artist Vincent Lyles from the Contemporary Craft degree course at York College is working on a commissioned sculpture for the Nanjing International Friendship Park in China; a city that has been twinned with York since 2016.
The urban eco and emission-friendly park, which has already been landscaped, will be the location for sculptures from Nanjing’s 81 twinned cities located in 47 countries around the world.
Vincent’s sculpture of a Roman soldier sitting opposite a Chinese soldier from the Ming dynasty, with a chess board between them, draws on an earlier sculpture he worked on at York College. The chess set, based on landmarks from both York and Nanjing, feature pieces such as York Minster, Cliffords Tower and Bi Xi, and Zhinghua Gate in Nanjing.
Vincent, and his wife Jill - a textile artist who is also from the Contemporary Craft course at York College, recently returned from a visit to Nanjing where they explored the park and were shown possible sites for the sculpture. They had the opportunity to experience the history, culture and natural features of the city as well as its economic and social development.
Vincent says: “It’s an honour to be selected to produce a sculpture for Nanjing and a delight to create something which reflects the histories of Nanjing and York.”
Karen Robson, Head of Higher Education and International at York College comments: “I am delighted local artist Vincent Lyles has been selected for the sculpture commission in Nanjing, it is a wonderful opportunity for him to design and showcase his skills in Nanjing’s International Friendship Park. At York College we have been privileged to view Vincent’s work and we look forward to working with artists in China on future projects.”
Vincent’s visit to Nanjing was brokered by York businessman Will Zhuang, who helped establish the twinning arrangements between York and Chinese city.
The initial reaction to Vincent’s proposal for the sculpture has been very positive and he has until 15th July to submit a small scale model to a commissioning panel in Nanjing. If the panel decides to go ahead with the commission, Vincent’s model will be scaled up into a slightly larger sculpture which will sit in the park.