downhill (knight ave)

More Works By P. Roch Smith Bronze and Steel 2023
60 × 24.5 × 72.5 in 152.4 × 62.23 × 184.15 cm

About downhill (knight ave)

This fun and somewhat whimsical sculpture recalls a cherished childhood memory for Roch Smith. The Toronto-based sculptor has hand-forged the bronze figure of a young boy on a bike balancing upright on its back wheel-popping a wheelie. He stands poised to ride off the top of a high, narrow steel track that ends in a loop reminiscent of the popular ‘Hot Wheels’ toy race car sets of the sixties. Smith says that growing up, he and his two older brothers were captivated by the daring feats of the motorcycle driver known as Evel Knievel.

The flamboyant American was often featured on television performing seemingly impossible and dangerous stunts on his motorcycle. Smith and his brothers used to race their bikes down a neighbourhood hill to mimic their daredevil hero.

“We've all had moments at the top of a metaphorical hill where you take a deep breath and make a choice to start riding….I usually put a twist in my sculptures. In this case it is the loop at the bottom of the ramp - I'm really not sure if the bike and rider will fit.” Roch Smith

He received a BFA (Honours Sculpture) from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (ECIAD - 1997) and an MFA from York University (2003). A teacher as well as an artist, he has taught classes at the University of Waterloo, ECIAD and York University. He currently manages and operates the bronze and aluminum foundry at York University. Roch Smith has exhibited throughout Canada and in the US. His work is included in private, corporate and museum collection.