ARTIST: Paul Reimer
PRODUCED BY: Reimer & Co Blacksmiths
MEDIA: Recycled Railroad Track, Recycled Concrete and Hand-Forged Iron
DIMENSIONS: 89″ high x 30″ x 18″
This artwork began as an exploration of combining different materials and different shapes. “Connected” is made entirely from found and recycled materials – railroad track, steel and concrete. I was intrigued by the possibility of turning industrial, utilitarian objects into art.
When I created this sculpture I had no inkling of the effect it would have on people and how they would interact with it. “Connected” was the centrepiece of my annual Christmas art exhibit in 2018. Almost everyone who attended posed with the sculpture and wanted their photo taken with it – completely unprompted. They were using it as a frame – some even used the bottom as a frame for their kids and even their dogs.
This is my latest take on the age-old blacksmith tradition of making the functional beautiful and I’m so pleased to see the enthusiastic response people have to it. What began as a desire to connect disparate objects and take them from mundane to engaging, turned into a connection between people and art. My hope is that everyone who engages with this piece will take a second look, not only at other public artworks, but at the everyday objects all around them.
My journey to becoming an artist is the subject of two recently released short films:
“Reimer Reason” was selected as a finalist in the Dirtbag Film Festival in Kimberley, BC (April 2019). This was put together by two very talented local film makers – Levi Froese and Jeremy Friesen – better known as Leroy and The Bean.
“Forging Ahead” tells the story of how, at the age of 15, I began my career as a blacksmith. It was shot by Cranbrook’s local cable tv station.