Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ryan McCourt

The Helmet of Laocoon

Ryan McCourt is a Canadian artist and the winner of the Headdress category at the 2009 Wearable Art Awards in Port Moody, British Columbia.

The winning piece was The Helmet of Laocoon (brass, aluminum, lead and tin), which tells the legend of the Trojan priest Laocoon from Greek mythology. Laocoon was a priest of Poseidon, God of the Sea. Laocoon warned his fellow Trojans against the wooden horse presented to the city by the Greeks. I like that the work has a strong narrative quality.

The helmet "features a nose and cheek guards in the form of the feathers of a sea bird, a brow of crashing waves, clamshell ear pieces, a fish at the forehead, the pate covered by an umbrella, a rearing orca, and more seashells on the back, with hinged strands of seaweed streaming down around the neck. A pair of candles placed in sockets on the front improves night vision." So cool.

McCourt does a lot of various sculptural work but his headress/wearable pieces are by far my favorite.


  1. Hey Macie,
    Thanks for the post. Glad you like these recent pieces. How did you come across my work?
    The "Portrait Helmets" exhibition on at Common Sense in Edmonton runs until Dec. 20, so if you're in town (although I get the impression you're not) stop by and say hi.
    -Ryan McCourt

  2. Hey!
    I was actually just trolling the internet looking for artists that make wearable pieces because that's what I'm working on right now. I came across the Port Moody website and was really struck by the Laocoon piece so I went to your site and poked around. Your work is really beautiful! I doubt I'll be in Edmonton, but good luck with the show!!!