Landmarks - Public Art in the Capital Region


The Reef Project by Michael Abraham

The Reef Project by Michael Abraham
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Artwork DescriptionA most vibrant sculpture in the round, The Reef Project resembles a carousel of underwater delight: swirling starfish, reeds, and sea animals silhouetted by three frolicking swimmers, capped by waves and a pearly moon-like globe. The sculpture is constructed out of rolled half mild steel. With an overall height of 19 feet, the metal component is a cylinder that stands 15 and a half feet high, five and a half feet in diameter, on a three-foot base of slated concrete, and crowned with a four-foot aluminum globe. Lit from the inside bottom shooting up, the sculpture was designed be a beacon on dreary BC days.
Artwork StatementFraser McColl, developer of the Reef Condominiums in Victoria an avid patron of Abraham, commissioned The Reef Project. "This sculpture commission developed out of my appreciation for Michael's art and a desire to bring wonderful, colourful, imaginative artwork to the city of Victoria," Mr. McColl stated. "I was very excited to see how his paintings would translate to three dimensions and gave Michael the freedom to interpret the requirements of the project into his own design. Don Charity, my partner, worked closely with Michael on the exciting technical possibilities of working with large pieces of metal. I am thrilled with the result! JP Metal Manufacturing Inc., a custom metal fabrication shop in Calgary, cut the computer drawn shapes to exactness and allowed the artist to work organically with the welders to shape and assemble the piece. Abraham's brother Richard Abraham is an experienced painter of military and commercial aircraft, having painted everything from 737's to Porches. Richard's skill with Endura paint (an industrial polyurethane paint) guided by Michael's artist's eye enabled The Reef Project to come to life."

About Michael Abraham

Dates1965 in Montreal, QC
Artist BioMichael Abraham is one of a rare breed; an artist who follows a personal vision that is both critically recognized and commercially sucessful!Described as 'hip' in Star magazine, Michael Abraham's personal coups have included sold out shows and numerous shining reviews in the Vancouver Sun. He was selected to showcase Canada's artistic genius, representing the best of the contemporary scene at the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec '97). Abraham has been interviewed by the CBC and Vancouver Television. His paintings have been on three Common Ground magazine covers and Vancouver Symphony's Allegro, as well as glimpsed at in InStyle magazine. Abraham's original oil paintings are in collections from London to Singapore to Philadelphia to Amsterdam. With work in the Vancouver Art Gallery, and various corporate, public and private collections there are also two paintings in the collection of Courtney Cox and David Arquette. He is represented by Gallery Jones in Vancouver, and has had exhibitions of his work in Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Germany and Victoria.Born in Montreal (1965), he began his studies in life drawing and compositional painting at the Ontario College of Art (1984-88). He was teacher's assistant during a year of postgraduate education in Florence, Italy (1990-91). Michael has been painting full time since 1992. He travels to see art often, and other than the odd crisis of mind, he enjoys music, food, cycling, piano playing, nature, figure drawing and a happy family life. He currently lives and creates in Delta, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia.
Artist ResumeOntario College of Art 1984-88 and off campus in Italy 1990-911992: Honorable mention "Images and Objects", BC Festival of the Arts.1988: Eric Freifeld Award for figure Draughtsmanship, top fine arts drawing award for fourth year studies, O.C.A. Fine Arts Department.1988: O.C.A. Fine Arts Department representative, Governor General Juried Medals Competition. 1988: Honorary membership - Arts and Letters Club, Toronto.1984-88: Ontario College of Art Honors graduate.Biggest award! Getting the colours right!


Artwork TypeSculpture
MediumHalf-inch mild steel rolled and painted with endure aviation/automotive paints.
Unveiled date2004
DimensionsApprox 19 feet including tile base. Metal, approx 17 feet by six-foot diameter.
Reference #3773
SiteThe Reef, 21 Erie Street
Art CategoryPrivately Held Public Art
Selection ProcessPrivate: Rezoning Amenity
Municipality/NeighbourhoodVictoria: James Bay



Type of Artwork