HA! was commissioned by housing developers CALA Homes (East) Ltd and designed by Jois Hunter. The work is situated in an open area which is close to a children’s play park adjacent to a new housing development near Broomieknowe on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
HA! is a fun interpretation of achieving the perfect handstand and feeling awesome at being able to look at the world from upside down! As the work was close to a play park and in a wide-open space P Johnson & Company wanted the sculptures to engage the children as well as the adults, hence the cartoon like character of a tumbling bee looking so very proud of itself.
The bees were forged and fabricated from mild steel. The detailing was kept to the expressions on each face and to the hands and the feet. Galvanizing the bees was the obvious choice to prevent corrosion and allow for zero maintenance. They knew that children would engage with the bees and clamber over them and felt that a painted finish would become damaged over time.
After the sculpture was hot dip galvanized, a mordant solution acid etch was applied, speeding up the natural oxidisation of the zinc, creating the final grey patina. Due to the galvanized finished the sculpture is also maintenance free.
Photographs © Shona Johnson, P Johnson & Company.