Barry Woods Johnston

Mariner - Bronze sculpture by Barry Johnston

First from the Sea; First to the Stars

1986, Bronze, 14'-6" high

Johnston’s art evinces his respectfor the experiences, the intelligence, and the emotional life of his audience. People respond with heart and mind. His work demonstrates that contemporary art can be thoughtful, profound, and searching without resorting to abstruse coldness. The public has embraced what he calls his “search for human meaning in an increasingly mechanized world,” because it reflects and amplifies the same yearnings common to all individuals. This is the thread that unites a growing body of work encompassing several styles.

Steve Mirabella, Art Critic

Mariner (also called “First from the Sea; First to the Stars,” 1985-87, Bronze, 14' - 6", Commissioned by the City of Hampton, Virginia, and is located at the entrance of the Hampton City Hall. Also called “First from the Sea and First to the Stars,” the City of Hampton prides itself for hosting two very diverse industries – fishing and the space program. The single figure holds a fishing net in his left hand and reaches for the stars with his right, as if rising up from the prow of a ship. The gesture combines Hampton’s dual industries, fishing and space technology, into a single, straight-forward statement, likely the reason the proposal was approved and installed at the City Hall entrance.

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