Artist Profile: Gord Halloran

Gord Halloran is well known to world audiences as the creator of Paintings Below Zero, monumental public art installations created in and with ice.

The Turin 2006 Olympic Winter Games hosted a huge installation, Picture Sotto Zero where Halloran was Canada’s official representative of the Cultural Olympiad. Halloran’s installations in ice have since been hosted by City of Toronto (2007), Niagara on the Lake (2007), City of Chicago at Millennium Park (2008), and the City of Richmond for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Gordon Halloran
The Torino Collection
Artwork created by the artist from raw images of
Pitture Sotto Zero, Italy, 2006

Paintings Below Zero is an installation of boldly coloured, abstract paintings in ice – enormous in scale and yet intricate in detail – with stunning patterns created by pigments combining with the crystal structure of the ice. This uniquely Canadian art form was created by international artist Gordon Halloran. These “big paintings for a big country,” were inspired by Canada’s vast winter landscape of ice and snow. In 2006, Halloran’s Pitture Sotto Zero was a highlight of the Cultural Olympiad in Turin, Italy, at the Fortezza di Fenestrelle, in the small town of Fenestrelle. The artwork displayed here is collection of close up images created from raw photography (by Al Burns) of the Turin installation. These images have been individually layered, cropped and enhanced by the artist. The design of the framing presentation on Sintra ground and acrylic-laminated was created by the artist to resemble the smooth surface of ice and yet preserve the artwork.

VAL CHISONE 29.5” x 22.5” $995

VAL CHISONE   29.5” x 22.5”  $995

The Alpine valley close to the border of France and Italy - where the Forte di Fenestrelle is situated. A glorious, rough space of brilliant winter sunshine, and at night, the sound of wolves and the bright winter moon.

This image speaks of the beautiful snow ice and cold which finally fell to below zero the evening before the opening of the installation Pitture Sotto Zero at the Cultural Olympiad of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

CHIESA COOL 29.25″ x 22.5” $920

CHIESA COOL   29.25″ x 22.5”   $920

Literally, 'cool church' in Italian. An important concept for the crew of Pitture Sotto Zero. Due to an unseasonably warm winter, there was no snow during the creation of the installation. As the church shared a warm wall with the Cafe des Forcats, many strategies had to be employed to keep the “Chiesa Cool”.

CIN CIN 37.5” x 21.5” $1100

CIN CIN  37.5” x 21.5”  $1100

Cin Cin, a familiar toast in Italy. “Cin Cin” began many a fine Italian meal with the crew, gathered round the table at the end of a long, cold day.

BRIDGE TO PRACATINAT 23” x 56.5” $1225

BRIDGE TO PRACATINAT  23” x 56.5”  $1225

Pracatinat, a mountain resort several kilometers up a narrow, winding road between Fenestrelle and Mentoulles. Pracatinat links up to the Fortezza di Fenestrelle at the top, with a bridge spanning the deep gully.

TUI TUI 23” x 29” $925

TUI TUI  23” x 29”  $925

A restaurant in Mentoulles. The owner, an ex-Communist, charmed his customers, while his wife cooked specialties in the kitchen.

Pitture Sotto Zero crew had a memorable experience one moonlit night when inhabitants of the town and members of Forte San Carlo sang the Italian National anthem for their new Canadian friends.