Wednesday, December 18, 2013

B/W still life series: Cedars

Rooted in time, decay and rebirth, Cedars is a re-examined look at discarded fragments of a forest.

Photographed using large and medium format cameras, these artist proofs are meant to explore the notions of conservation and destruction in our technological age.

Pondering the expressionistic grandeur of nature, Cedars questions how we recreate and mediate nature. How is value placed, and what do we see in these discarded remnants of a cedar tree?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Station 1, The Aqua Lauta Project put through its paces

Yesterday was great fun and I met a lot of people at the Conestoga Mall promoting TheMuseum in Kitchener with Station 1. It was put through its paces and we all talked a little water. I would say about half the people I met from Waterloo did not know their city water came from the Grand River. Now they do, and they have something to think about the next time they turn on the tap.
We arrived just before opening

Greg, a volunteer from THEMUSEUM was great!

Good conversation

Explaining Why? A common question.

The crowds really came once someone started peddling

Friday, November 29, 2013

New seat & The Museum, Kitchener

After some additional public testing at McMaster University I have built a new seat and added support handles. The leverage applied to the seat by the participant is severe, the additions make using the piece much more effective. New Photos! I added other stuff to, see it?

Also - the piece will be at Conestoga Mall to promote THEMUSEUM in Kitcheners Surface Tension exhibit. If you are in Waterloo, come by and say hello. Maybe even give it a try. C

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Aqua Lauta Project

I wanted to explain beyond the new pictures posted of the pump so it is understood where this project is going. 

A slight change in the title replacing the word "Machine" with "Project." This reflects my new approach on working through how the apparatus will function. Now, rather than this being a single sculpture through which participants' interaction will draw water from a local source (lake/river) and feed into various transparent filtration systems and finally dispense clean drinking water to the participant, it will now be constructed through Stations. Unlike the original concept drawing below...

Represented as a single piece, the apparatus will now be constructed of: 
Station 1-Peristaltic Pedal Pump
Station 2-Centrifuge Sand Filtration & Ultraviolet Filter 

Station 1-Peristaltic Pedal Pump, Oct.11/13
Phase 1 of The Aqua Lauta Project will include the use of Station 1 only:

"Free water bottle refills...Free water bottle refills!' will be offered to the public by the stations host. The host, upon request for a bottle refill, will instruct the participant to sit on the piece, place their bottle in the holder, and pedal pump until water fills the transparent filler hose. Once the hose is visibly full, the tap can be engaged in order for the participant to fill their bottle. Water for Station 1 will be drawn from a refillable container of tap water. 

It is my hope that those with a refillable bottle will connect even more with the energy water contains and requires. I am also looking to attract those that have not yet thought to bring a refillable water bottle to the idea of where our water comes from, how it's treated, and why water is worth consideration. To initiate a discourse on the notion of bottled water being superior and stigma's that have developed over tap water. All while having fun!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Prototype pump 2

The prototype peristaltic pump is complete with only a few minor adjustments need before taking it fully in the public domain. Have a look.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

back to it

Summer, a great time to spend time with family and reflect. Fantastic, but that is over now... and I am back into the final touches on the peristaltic pump. I'm not willing to show to much right away, but here is the brass sheeting I am using as a case for the wood. More pics to follow soon. Best.


First I cut the brass to size, then, with some steel wool and some love, cleaned it up a little. Not that it's going to stay like that.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Artist in Residence: Art Gallery of Mississauga

As part of my Artist in Residence for the Art Gallery of Mississauga I worked with 2 grade 7 classes in Peel on a rain barrel project. After presenting their ideas on where their water comes from; how it gets to them, and how to use less of it, they sketched and painted 2 of their own rain barrels.

These in progress pictures show what a great job they did!
Thank you AGM and the Roots & Branches program.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Week: 13/20/27

After a week of considering a new design for the pump, it was decided I would rebuild a new pump from scratch. The prototype pump worked well in that the torque for pedaling was excellent and the flow rate was good, but, as a prototype it did not have the construction levels that are needed for durability and reliability.

Week May 20 was all about crafting out a new wood frame. I learned from the prototype what worked and what didn't and was able to make some changes that improved the quality all around. Started with ACX lumber which uses waterproof glue and has a nicer finish. A template was made and jigsaw used for cutting the circle, now, with a channel down the middle to stabilize the hose.

Week May 27 was about now fabricating the new steel frame as part of the redesigned interior pump and integrated pedal crank. The new Exterior pump design will be very durable as it no longer relies on the frame for rigidity. The picture below shows the steel frame in a jig. Using the jig paid off and my welding is getting much better. All closed ends and no seams. Looks fantastic.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Week: May 6th

Spring has sprung and work continues on the Aqua Lauta Machine. I have decided I'm going to post weekly on progress, issues and challenges from May through to the end of June. Here is week one, May 6th.....

The Aqua Lauta Machine as it now stands. Can you see it?

I am reinforcing the frame with cross members and adding additional sub frame across the front wheel axle. This will improve the rigidity of the frame allowing for heartier travel and less flex during use.

 Also I am refining components of the sculpture I am not happy with either from a build quality, design or aesthetic perspective. Above is an example, these are the brackets for the small rear wheels. I felt that a better design would be stronger, and look more refined so I sawzalled them off. New brackets are desined, cut and ready to go. I will be welding them Monday along with the additional cross members.

Here I am carting off the bare frame back to the welding room. I felt like a surgeon rolling a patient back into the operating room cause something was missed. I assured the patient all would be well and not to worry.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Feast and some changes

Let me start by thanking Andrea and The Hamilton Artist Inc., along with all those that came out for the Feast event to directly support Artists working in Hamilton. It was a great night featuring fantastic proposals from some talented artists. I will say with a big smile, I won! It was a very close count and I personally want to thank those that voted for me. The funds will be used for powder coating the frame and purchasing raw materials for The Aqua Lauta Machine.

I look forward to presenting my sculpture next year at the Artist Inc., date tbd.

which brings me to the sculpture itself, namely the title. From some consultation with Paul R., from McMaster University, I have learned that my online research into the English Latin translation of the words water cleaner or purifier does not include the "S" on Lautus. Therefor, from this point the title will be changed to The Aqua Lauta Machine, Latin for the water cleaner machine.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Hamilton Artist Inc.

I will be presenting at the Hamilton Artist Inc for their Feast event. Come on out, support and artist, enjoy some great food, have a great time, and all for $20! Details below. Hope to see you. Christopher

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Aqua Lautus Machine is Functional!

Yes, it is now fully functioning and has gone through the first wet tests. That is, test with water running through it. Now, the functionality still needs to be refined, but the basics are in place which will allow me to start to refine them while addressing aesthetic issues at the same time.

What you see here is the skeleton of the sculpture with all the basic elements in place and working in harmony. That is, the Peristaltic pump pumps beautifully and can pull water from 30 feet. The transmission with pulleys transfers the pedal power to the pump as well as the centrifuge sand filter and the UV filter! Awesome fun to pedal and watch happen before your eyes.

I have drank the water from the sculpture and it is yummy!

Check the Aqua Lautus page on the right for further details and video. Best, Christopher

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hamilton Art Crawl March 8th

Thanks again to Heather from the Museum of Steam & Technology for the opportunity to display my latest sculpture at the Lister Block during art crawl. The exhibit will be mounted until March 24th for those you could make it friday. It was a great night with a good crowd and I enjoyed speaking with all of you. Under the Pump One Page I have posted several installation pictures. Email with any thoughts. Best, Christopher

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Friday Art Crawl Media Release


Pump One: A relational bond with water is lost
Presented by the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology

HAMILTON, March 8, 2013 – Hamilton artist Christopher McLeod will be debuting his latest sculpture, Pump One during Hamilton Art Crawl Friday. Pump One is comprised of a hand pump (with its handle removed) mounted on a three foot diameter pedestal hand honed from reclaimed cedar fencing posts. The piece will be displayed in the Arcade at The Lister Block until March 24th and will coincide with Canada Water Week. “I really want the viewer to think about the relevance of this piece,” says McLeod. “The pump represents a water supply, but with the handle removed, there is no way to access this vital source of life. We have lost our physical bond with water. In reality, this mirrors our waste and disrespect for this essential element.”

McLeod as an artist has often produced work that reflects elements of nature and man’s relationship with it. Concurrently, in conjunction with McMaster Universities Engineering department, McLeod is developing and building The Aqua Lautus Machine. This interactive sculpture, through a belt driven three phase system, produces fresh drinking water from The Great Lakes, all pedal powered. McLeod’s last interactive sculpture was displayed at Nuit Blanche in Toronto and his work has been exhibited internationally.

The Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology allows visitors to take a peek into life at the beginning of Canada's industrial revolution. The museum preserves two 45-foot high, 70-ton steam engines which pumped the first clean water to the city over 140 years ago. The museum is a National Historic Site and a Civil and Power Engineering Landmark. The museum offers various permanent and changing exhibits. They also feature a wide range of special events that are fun for the whole family.
For more information:

Christopher McLeod

Heather George
Tourism and Culture Division
Planning and Economic Development
Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology
900 Woodward Ave. Hamilton ON

Sunday, March 3, 2013

artist statement

Artist statement for newly completed sculpture Pump One.

Artist Statement

An Object Trouve´, Pump One, mounted on a three foot diameter pedestal hand honed from reclaimed cedar fencing posts, challenges the viewer to connect with the theatrical illusion of a water supply in absolute abundance.

Handle removed, the social history and designation of purpose associated with the hand pump becomes representational of that which is lost, a physical bond to water.

The pedestal, specifically constructed from discarded natural materials, works in defiance of the disregard for those natural materials. Reinvigorating the cedar posts back to something beautiful, juxtaposed to the pump considered a defunct object of obsolescence. Both renewed in relevance and status for social consideration, analysis and discussion.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A short video showing the very first rotation of the peddle powered water pump for the Aqua Lautus Machine. There will be three arms in total.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pump One progress

Sculpture: Pump One is almost complete. The cedar base is ready and now attention shifts, to the pump.
The pump was manufactured in Brantford, Ontario. I was not able to confirm the exact date of manufacture, I can estimate it though that is was made after 1930 and before 1950.

Having been outside for many years it was corroded badly. I did an initial sandblast and followed that up with a wire brush. Being cast, it came out with a fantastic texture once finished.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Aqua Lautus Machine

Progress continues on The Aqua Latus Machine (water cleaner). Ongoing updates will be added to the page on the right. Here, the engineer students are forming their own acrylic cones. Here is a test.

Turned out pretty good. The handmade quality really adds to the appeal. I am thinking the central water filter, being in this handmade acrylic cylinder, will look fantastic. You will be able to see the water and the filter sand as the process takes place. It is important for these steps in the filter process to be viewed, hopefully giving all of us more understanding of what it takes to make drinkable water.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Sculpture: Pump One (working title)

Coming along very well. Here is an update in pictures. See the page for statement. Thanks

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