Representing grit, determination and a commitment to personal excellence, a striking new sculpture at Trent University features the strained body of a muscular rower leaning over his oars to propel himself toward his destination, representing the passion of rowing and of personal wayfinding.
Esteemed Canadian artist David Robinson says the vessel in Dead Reckoning resembles the needle of a compass while the rower represents anyone – including students on an educational journey – determined to forge a path to their dreams. The installation next to the Athletics Centre makes it clearly visible not only to students, faculty, staff and visitors who pass by but also to rowers training and competing on the Otonabee River.
“We wanted to mark the 50th anniversary of the Head of the Trent regatta with something very, very special,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “This sculpture is a wonderful addition to the campus and a wonderful addition to the Public Sculpture Initiative.”
Trent Campus a Natural Fit
Trent’s beautiful campus, welcoming culture and international reputation for rowing excellence make the University a natural fit for this artwork, which is made of bronze, stainless steel and weathering steel, said Mr. Robinson.
“I am very, very grateful to have the placement of this piece in a beautiful culture that is welcoming to the work,” he said.
The installation was a “momentous day” for the University, added Sherry Booth, associate vice president, Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement.
“This sculpture will be an icon and a beacon for those on the river,” she said.
Formal Celebration to Come
The University will install a plaque next to the sculpture, detailing the artwork, the artist, and honouring the donors that made this possible. Plans to formally celebrate the installation will take place during the 50th anniversary of the Head of the Trent Regatta.
As a project of the Trent Art Collection Presidential Advisory Committee, the public sculpture initiative is an innovative celebration and exploration of Canadian art and identity. The initiative was established by alumnus David James ’68 to help the University continue to acquire nationally and internationally significant works that present unique and diverse artistic practices.