On Top of the World

Sculpture by Jim Thomson
Jim Thomson (1953-2013)
Stoneware and concrete
Collection number
Art at buildings


To add a spirit of optimism to the place where people pay their municipal taxes, artist Jim Thomson proposed this statue assembly to be placed in the entrance of the Client Service Centre. The statues reference various mythological traditions and thematically correspond to the two-metre high vases upon which they are placed. The turtle's home on his back represents his history, experience and wisdom, and relates to his perch of archeological fragments. The black dog is the Trickster who tries to trick us into learning. He is governed by the same strict and solid rules as is the vase upon which he stands. The jeweled bowl, perched on a spiral of pure energy, is an icon for the conquest of the spirit. The dog and the turtle both gaze at the bowl, which basks them in the notion that they will forever be positioned on top of the world. Thomson was an established Ottawa ceramist who studied art in Thailand, Japan and at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Floor 1