The Gun Sculpture – A Travelling Exhibition

The Gun Sculpture Travelling Exhibition Gallery

A travelling exhibition gallery recycles a miled out semi-trailer to promote the art of peace making by bringing the Gun Sculpture to communities rather than having it curated in one gallery and in one place. This mobile art gallery can be re-located and installed in any municipality.  

A standard 53 foot, high load trailer is deconstructed and structurally reinforced with hinged side and ceiling panels that are winched open to create viewing platforms and an expansive ceiling  plane.  With the sculpture at its centre, the project’s tough steel panel interior features a contemplation area and a commemorative installation of photos and deeply personal stories about victims of violence. Message boards enable visitors to post their own photos and stories that are projected onto two video screens incorporated into the sloped roof panels and archived for future viewing. A tent like shroud encloses the space and provides various degrees of shelter against the elements. Manufactured from industrial and sailmaking components, the sections are dismantled and stored in the trailer for travel and are clasped into position or rolled upward or sideways (similar to paying out a large a sail), to create a series of different enclosure options. 

The gallery is powered by solar PV’s that, alongside a satellite dish, can be swivelled into optimal position to respond to different site orientations – that are mostly scheduled for library and community centre parking lots or open urban plazas. The battery packs are also charged by the tractor trailer electrical system while in transit.  LED lighting illuminates the space and enables the exhibition to be a visible beacon given the translucency of its tent fabric. Totally off the grid, the project is completely self contained. 

The Gun Sculpture comprises more than 7000 deactivated weapons painstakingly collected from law enforcement agencies around the world. It has been  exhibited at the United Nations in NYC and Vienna; the Nobel Peace Prize celebrations in Korea, the Canada Pavilion – 2000 Worlds Fair, Hannover, Germany and the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Shown elsewhere in numerous museums and galleries, 1,500,000 people worldwide have visited the Gun Sculpture to date; building a record of intense public engagement that focuses on one of society’s most difficult issues – gun violence. 

With the increase in gun violence in Canada and elsewhere today, a decision to take the sculpture ‘on the road’ is timely. Conceived to create a powerful up close awareness about the universal impacts of gun violence, and how it affects our own communities locally, the art is at once provocative and disturbing. This message through the medium of art has proven potential for community engagement – from students to veterans – and to generate important dialogue with all age groups about gun violence and the need for community safety initiatives.

In the fall of 2020, the Gun Sculpture will showcase the issue across Canada by embarking on a two year tour.