Freud's Ceiling, originally commissioned by the City of Vancouver to celebrate the City's 125th Anniversary, was gifted to to the Kamloops Art Gallery and installed at the Centre as part of a public art partnership with the City of Kamloops.
Kerr has a longstanding relationship with the Kamloops Art Gallery - he created the commemorative wildfire sculpture that is permanently installed outside the TNRD building, which houses the library and art gallery, and his work was notably included in the exhibition An Era of Discontent: Art as Occupation at the KAG in 2012. The acquisition of this work, Freud’s Ceiling, is indicative of the Gallery’s mandate to collect work by living Canadian artists who have previously shown in Kamloops Art Gallery exhibitions.
Installing the work at this location allows the Gallery to share its permanent collection with a broader public. Public art is a key marker of all mature cities and this initiative is indicative of the dual importance Kamloops puts on both sports and culture. This work reflects the KAG’s commitment to supporting artists who are working and contributing to the conversation in British Columbia’s vibrant art scene today.
Freud's Ceiling is part of a body of work that emerged from research into various sources including art history, modernist architecture, iconography in the built environment, as well as the fields of biology and psychology. The piece is based on a pattern found on the ceiling of an addition that was built onto the Sigmund Freud House in London, UK, which Kerr had visited. The pattern references a naturally occurring design that forms in the visual cortex of the brain when one is half asleep. As part of his exploration, Kerr was also interested in research developed by a neurological scientist, Jack Cowan, from the University of Chicago. Cowan discovered the mathematical formula that occurs in the visual cortex which produces hexagonal patterns. These are ideas that Kerr has consistently investigated as part of his practice.