Since leaving the RCA in London, where Henry Moore personally funded Atkin throughout his MA sculpture course, he has exhibited his work worldwide. Recent publications on Atkins’ output focus on references to cultural heritage within the contemporary landscape. His work has been the subject of widespread media interest and editorials that focus on his work in public spaces, here in the UK & overseas. Please refer to www.skyarts.co.uk/johnatkin http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7544159.stm
In recent years, Atkin has been invited to present keynote papers at a number of conferences worldwide including The 16th China Sculpture Forum. DIAOSU- National Sculpture Magazine of China, where he represented the Royal British Society of Sculptors, and also Sculpture by the Sea Symposium at the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia: in addition he was invited to speak at the Understanding the Post-Industrial City: metropolis, urban renewal and public space: Joint PhD Seminar Faculdade de Arquitectura - Universidade Técnica de Lisboa Bauhaus - Universitat Weimar
“Strange Meeting”, was commissioned by Beijing Municipal Government, to celebrate the cultural emphasis of the Olympics ” One World One Dream” exhibition in Olympic Park, Beijing. This 27-ton marble & granite artwork formed part of an exhibition of twenty-six artists selected from a global application of 2600 people. The popularity of the sculpture has eventuated in its permanent location adjacent to the Birds Nest Stadium. His recent appointment, Honorary Fellow, National Academy of Sculpture, Beijing has stimulated widespread interest in his work, which has prompted numerous opportunities for his output in China. He is an integral member of the expert panel, for the forthcoming Nanjing Youth Olympics, China 2014, working on the cultural arm of this global event.
Atkin is also the recipient of a major award, “Bridging the Gaps” from the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), http://www.epsrc.ac.uk. This award explores ways that cross-departmental research can be harnessed to Arts & Science collaborations between different Programme Areas of Loughborough University. www.facebook.com/BridgingTheGaps.Lboro.ac.uk
Atkins’ public art based research interest lies in the interaction of people with artworks that change a space into a place. In this way the community secures a landmark for the area and a meeting point for all generations and cultures. He has recently completed a series of innovative artworks for Kent County Council, where his role as Lead Artist for their ground breaking Breaking Boundaries “shared space” highways project has won several major awards and is the subject of widespread critical acclaim. This award winning interdisciplinary project involved working alongside Landscape Architects and Highway Engineers to complete a range of innovative arterial structures, (such as roundabouts, terracing and street furniture), that reflect on Ashford’s cultural heritage within a contemporary urban landscape.
His recent project in California focuses on the regeneration of the Fillmore District of San Francisco and collaborating with AXIS Architects on delivering a coherent public realm that addresses the locales indelible heritage as the home of West Coast Jazz. http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=BDlP10mMz1U
In addition, he is the UK Representative for the EU-China touring exhibition, “Inspiring Culture”, (www.inspiringculture.com) which will tour nine major museums in China 2011-2013, alongside other representatives of 27 other EU countries, coinciding with the EU –China Economic summit in Xian, September 2011. http://www.britishcouncil.org/china-arts-visualart-jac.htm
Atkin has also been invited to participate in the “Creative Cities” exhibition at the Barbican Arts Centre in London. The Creative Cities Collection promotes the exhibition of visual arts in the great cities of the world, encouraging the flourishing of artistic talent, creativity and dialogue across the globe. The exhibition will move to Beijing after the exhibition in London.
His studio and work within H.E. continues to be the vital element in the development of his work that embraces all aspects of cross-disciplinary Arts & Science culture.