Public Commissions


Chicago Brownstone townhouses
383 Prince of Wales Drive
Mississauga, ON

15′ tall x 10′ wide x 3′ deep
Cast bronze and granite.
Commissioned for the “Chicago Project” Mississauga, 2009
Peter Powning and Jake Powning

Portal is a large arched entrance and a series of posts and a dolmen. The design went through several iterations before it found its final form. Peter Powning conceived the project and collaborated with his son Jake Powning on the arch design. Jake designed and carved the knot work pattern for the arch and inserts as well as the Dolmen and Post bronzes.

The sculpture is meant to evoke either an ancient ruin from some obscure culture or perhaps a project partially completed and abandoned. Nature was in the process of reasserting itself when the structure of the sculpture was incorporated into and surrounded by a contemporary building and its grounds.

Peter and Jake Powning during Portal installation.

The formal side is finished and provides an area for more formal landscaping; the deteriorating or unfinished side presents a sense of antiquity. As soon as the arch was up people walked out of their way to pass through it. One gets a sense of occasion or portent in the act of passage. It is meant to remind us of the importance and fragility of human endeavor over time.

The fact that the sculpture is an arch makes it accessible to a wide public. Mystery is created not by what it is but by its presence and scale. It has function and alludes to human history and experience.