Sunday, 27 November 2011


Young Queen Victoria
Recently I have been working with Claire, John D. and one of my son's - Tom - on the Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Equestrian sculpture monuments in George Square, Glasgow city centre. The over lifesize bronze monuments were being refurbished and we were asked to re model and then bronze cast missing bronze sections, such as Prince Albert's spur of his boot, crests and missing horse reins. Its an on going project for us over the next few months.
Prince Albert
Weld crack in bronze leg of horse

The bronzes were corroded and cracked in various places, so we took specialist welding equipment on site working from scaffolding to effect 'invisible' repairs. This work being undertaken prior to the sculptures being 'repatinated' with a specialist conservation material.

From my point of view it was great to get up close and personal with the great work of the renowned victorian sculptor Baron Carlo Marochetti. Over the years I had come across his work in public places and various books and always considered him a great sculptor, I would never of thought earlier in my artistic career that I would get to work on this great man's artworks.
Albert work in progress

John McKenna & Queen Victoria 
Tom McKenna working out missing horse breeching
A bit of Marochetti history: Marochetti provided Glasgow with four bronze statues: the equestrian Duke of Wellington in Royal Exchange Square (1840-4); Queen Victoria in George Square (1854), which was moved from St Vincent Place and altered 1866; the pedestrian James Oswald (1856), which was moved to George Square from Charing Cross in 1875; and the equestrian Prince Albert, also in George Square (1866).
Despite the criticism of his public work by his peers in England, the Illustrated London News hailed his statue of Queen Victoria in Glasgow as "by far the finest statue of [the Queen] that has yet been produced", whilst his monument to Prince Albert in Glasgow was so admired by the Queen that she commanded that a copy should be made and erected on Smith's Lawn, Windsor. He died suddenly in 1867 - a year after these monuments were erected.

Monday, 15 August 2011

JIMMY "JINKY" JOHNSTONE memorial statue, Viewpark, Glasgow


This bronze portrait statue sculpture of the legendary Celtic footballer Jimmy ‘Jinky‘ Johnstone was commissioned for a site in Viewpark, Glasgowwhere Johnstone grew up. The life-size bronze statue depicts ‘Jinky’ in one of his most memorable triumph poses after he scored a goal. John McKenna modelled the portrait statue on reference supplied by the Johnstone family who came and approved the statue as it progeressed The bronze statue, cast at the A4A studio foundry was unveiled by the footballers family in Viewpark, Uddingston, Glasgow, August 2011.

Excerpt from local press Aug 15 2011

The Lisbon Lions turned out to catch a glimpse of a new life-size statue of Celtic legend Jimmy "Jinky" Johnstone. Former footballers, including Bertie Auld, Joe McBride and keeper John Fallon gathered yesterday yards from Jinky's childhood home in Uddingston, Lanarkshire.The statue of the player was unveiled in a memorial garden jointly by his widow, Agnes, Bertie and North Lanarkshire councillors Jim McCabe and Harry Gauchin. Roads locally were closed as crowds turned out for the unveiling. Fundraising was spearheaded by the Jimmy Johnstone Memorial Committee and Celtic and Rangers fans contributed. Celtic legend Jinky - a member of Jock Stein's Lisbon Lions squad who won the European Cup in 1967 - died in 2006 after battling Motor Neurone Disease. Above picture shows the bronze statue in situ in the memorial garden, Old Edinburgh Road, Viewpark, Glasgow. The garden was created by generous donations of time, money and materials from Celtic fans, Rangers fans, private individuals and well know companies, a fitting tribute to a remarkable much admired football player.

Below the former team mates unveil the statue with Johnstones family and the Johnstone statue at the A4A studio foundry in Ayrshire, bronze surface after bead blasting ready for patina colouring.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Jock Stein statue at Celtic FC, Parkhead Stadium

On March the 5th 2011, some members of the 1967 Celtic Lisbon lions team unveiled my statue of Jock Stein outside the Celtic FC stadium, Kerrydale Street, Glasgow. The bronze statue was modelled in clay, moulded and then cast in bronze here at my studio foundry. On left is the bronze statue at my studio, with me applying some wax to polish the statue. Jock stein stands holding the European Cup, celebrating the fact that he was the first British football manager to win the European cup.

The over lifesize figure of the legendary Celtic and Scotland football manager was commissioned by the Celtic football club for a centre piece sculpture monument in the main front entrance to the stadium. On the unveiling day the Celtic FC manager, Neil Lennon, touched the statue for luck on the way into the stadium, just before the match against Hamilton - Celtic went on to win the match that afternoon.

A great job to be involved in and it was well received by the fans.