Cairn operates his own studio creating architectural and sculptural pieces for specific people, places, or ideas. The connecting of people, nature, and what we do with it, are central to his work. Presently he is exploring crossovers of figurative, architectural, and plant forms. His pieces range from hand held to large architectural installations.
Cairn has been featured by the Artist-Blacksmith Association of North America in their Spring 1996, Winter 2001, and Summer 2003 issues. He demonstrated metal sculpture at the International Caniron Conference at McMaster University in 2003, and in Victoria in 2007 and was featured in the 2011 Winter issue of the Metal Arts Guild. He is also teaching the Artist-Blacksmith craft mentorship program for the Ottawa School of Art.
2018. The Hamlet Dancers. Blackburn Hamlet public art commission.
Corten. H:2440(8 ft.)x W:4125 (13.5 ft.) x D:540 (21 in.)
Located at Blackburn Hamlet’s main intersection. This piece reflects family and this community working together.
2018. The Queen’s Entrance, Rideau Hall. Ceremonial door grilles, handles, crests, and plaque.
Bronze forged and fabricated door grilles designed by Georges Drolet.
Carved bronze Coat of Arms designed by Cathy Sabourin.
Forged bronze plaque designed by Cairn Cunnane.
2016. The Enchanted Garden. Condominium Lobby, Ottawa.
Forged steel and bronze, stone. H:1830 (6 ft.) x W:6100 (20 ft.) x D:1525 (5 ft.)
This is on an island in the lobby of a condominium tower. It is an imaginary place and space with paths winding through giant tree forms, blowing grasses, plants and flowers. Trails connect the flatlands to the mountains and meanders from an ancient castle like ruin on one side to a hillside village on the other. People change through time, and as our eyes follow the paths, our minds are free to create stories or open memories.
2015. Our Fence. Bingham Park, Public Art, City of Ottawa.
Stainless steel, painted. L: 68.5 m. (225 ft.) x H: Treeforms 3960 (13 ft.) H: Figures -varied to 1980 (78 in.)
“Our Fence” takes a functional fence and changes the physicality of it to become a welcome part of park and landmark a for the community that relates to its people and history. There is a forest background for Mr. Bingham, a lumber baron who personally donated this land and its upkeep to be a public park. The figures overlap each other, creating new patterns and layers like the people of the area. Hats mix identities and bridge time. Throughout are openings, windows of a sort, that lead to discoveries. There is a path, a river, which flows through the whole piece and waterfalls that spread ripples in the gate. These relate to flow, connection, and history, since this area actually was settled for those who would build the canal as a way around the Rideau falls.
2013. Identity Sculpture. SOHO Lisgar, Ottawa.
Stainless steel, fabricated. H:4270 (14 ft.)
This piece is an abstracted natural form that marks a point in transition between the street and the building.
2013. Parliament of Canada, East block, Governor Generals Entrance.
Wrought iron, coal forged, painted. 4 sections-total:6700 (22 ft.)
I was awarded this contract to design and create an original contemporary concept but using the traditional working methods of the original building. It is coal forged wrought iron developed around a flower and the forest and their combined strengths.
2013. Public Art Finalist. Trim Rd, Ottawa
2012. Rideau Hall, Entrance railings, Queens Jubilee Plaques and Crests. Design by Georges Drolet
Bronze, forged and fabricated, glass. 2 sections total 7320 (24 ft.)
Creating Georges Drolet’s vision of trees and water and the Canadian landscape.
2011. Connections. Public Art, City of Ottawa.
Collected and fabricated steel, galvanized. 2 benches, each H:915 (36 in.) x W:2130 (7 ft.) x D:610 (24 in.)
This piece was about connections, literally and within the community.
2010. Governor General’s. Bronze Victorian wire ornaments for the greenhouse.
Bronze, formed and wire wrapped. 3 different pieces H:1830 (6 ft.) x W:915 (3 ft.)
These were large ornamental hanging baskets. One was from an old design and I designed the others. The joinery is a bronze wire wrapping.
2009. Canadian Embassy. Santo Domingo.
Bronze, forged. Wall grouping varied size up to 315 (1 ft.)
Various size maple leaves chiseled out and hot forged by hand in natural fire patina.
2007. Chinatown Gateway Mural. Somerset St. Ottawa.
Forged aluminium, chiseled copper, wood, cement. H:3960 (13 ft.) x W:7930 (26 ft.) x D:200 (8 in.)
This was a 3D mural for the proposed gateway (at that time) for the Chinatown BIA and the City of Ottawa. Its a view of the street with a dragon racing along while a policeman clocks him on radar.
2007. Public Art Finalist. Bank St. Rehabilitation. Collaboration Don McVeigh Elaine DeCoursey. City of Ottawa
2005. Caisse Desjardins Awards and Lectern. Head Office, Ottawa
Forged steel, heads. H: 200 (8 in.) Forged and fabricated lectern H:1220 (4 ft.) x W:610 (24 in.) x D:460 (18 in.)
There was a selection of free forged heads including neck and shoulder. The lectern was a developed cityscape.
2004. “The Gardens“. Front doors and handles. Collaboration with Doug Casey, Ottawa.
2003. Public Art Finalist. Eva James Memorial Center. Collaboration Janice Moorhead. City of Ottawa.
2002. Public Art Finalist. Glebe Community Center. City of Ottawa.
2001. “Ripples“. Public Art, City of Aylmer
Forged and fabricated stainless steel. H:965 (38 in.) x W:1830 (6 ft.) x D:660 (26 in.)
This piece is connected with history of Aylmer through the harnessing of nature.
2018. “Harmony”. Ottawa.
Bronze and glass. H: 2440 (8 ft.)
Impression of the man and his music.
2015. “Mary’s World“. Ottawa.
Forged steel and bronze. H:3050 (10 ft.)
Gate entrance with trees, flowers, wildlife, and tools.
2014. Waterfall. Ottawa.
Steel, aluminium. H:2300(90.5 in.) x W:1300(51 in.) x D:1320(52 in.)
This commission was for a piece to cover a grey cement garage block wall. It became a waterfall tumbling through rocks and ferns.
2011. “Friends and Neighbours”. Ottawa.
Forged steel. Islands of abstract plant forms evoking human qualities.
2009. “Traveller”. Ottawa.
Part collected and recycled steel, part fabricated. H:1960 (77 in.) x W:4260 (14 ft.) x D:10 (4 in.)
This piece was a private commission serving as a front yard divider between units. It tells a story of natural freedom and accommodating city growth.
2010. “Smiles“. D. Maclellan, Ottawa.
Stainless steel, glass, copper, steel, H:3960 (13 ft.) x W:1220 (4 ft.) x D:200 (8 in.)
This piece was a private commission and was a reflection of the owner. It was forged and formed by hand.
2008. “Forest Garden”. M. Thomas. Ottawa.
Formed weathering steel. H:2440 (8 ft.) x W:7620 (25 ft.) x D:250 (10 in.)
A freeform sculptural fantasy naturescape.
2007. Memorial Bench United Church. Ottawa.
Forged and formed steel. H:915 (3 ft.) x W:1830 (6 ft.) x D:610 (2 ft.)
A collection of impressions from 3 daughters for their mother.
2006. “Reflections”. Sculpture, Manotick.
Forged steel. H:1780 (70 in.) x W:660 (26 in.) x D:150 (6 in.)
A pair of elongated figurative concave forms face each other through the storm.
2005. “The Grasses”. D. Frere, The Daly building, Ottawa
Forged and formed bronze. 2 sections total 10.6 m. (35 ft.)
Blowing grasses fill flower boxes and remain through the winter.
2004. Ottawa Animation Festival Awards
2003. “The Source”, Caniron Conference, McMaster University, Hamilton
2003. “Wilson’s Reflection”, M. Wilson, Rockcliffe
2002 “Twisted Lego”, O. Javanpour, Rockcliffe
2001. “Natural Geometry”, Iron, Ottawa
1996. Eve’s Swan Railing, R. Heafey, Aylmer
1995. Japanese Butterfly Gate, D. Holmes, Ottawa
2016 “Come Together”, Propeller Gallery, Toronto. Curated by Barbara Astman
2014 “Mosaic”. Ottawa
2014 Best of NCNS, Kanata
2013 Figureworks, Ottawa
2012 Dimensions, Ottawa
2011 Patrick John Mills Gallery, Ottawa
2009 “Masterworks East”, Ontario
2008 “Candela”, Cube Gallery, Ottawa
2007 “Hand-Made”, Ottawa School of Art Gallery
2007 “7X11”, Ottawa
2006 “A Fine Balance”, City Hall, Ottawa
2005 “Figuratively Speaking”, Ottawa
2005 “Mayor’s Art Festival”, City Hall, Ottawa
2004 “Dimensions”, EBA, Ottawa
2004 “Jazz”, Art Sales and Rental, Ottawa Art Gallery
2003 “Galleriart”, Ottawa
2004 Trinity Gallery, Trinity Church, Ottawa
2001 Corbeau Bleu Gallery, Wakefield, Quebec
With architect Gordin Lorimer on “The Glasgow”
With developer Doug Casey on “The Gardens”
National Capital Network of Sculptors
Artist-Blacksmith Association of North America
Metal Arts Guild
2013-North American Copper in Architecture Award-Interior Ornamental
Art History: University of Ottawa
Photography: Ottawa School of Art
Art & Criticism: Ottawa School of Art
Drawing: Algonquin College