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Penny wonderful

Gerald Ferguson's 1,000,000 Pennies (1979) is an unintentional ode to the dying currency

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Have a penny, give a penny. Need a penny? Take a penny. (Note: please do not take or add any pennies) - STEVE FARMER
  • Steve Farmer
  • Have a penny, give a penny. Need a penny? Take a penny. (Note: please do not take or add any pennies)

A penny for your thoughts. Actually, it’s more like a large, heaping pile of pennies. One million to be exact.

With the release of the federal government’s new budget, and the recent decision to cut the penny from our pockets, it might be the perfect time to check out this exhibit—while you still can. Material World is a contemporary sculpture exhibit at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and it currently hosts Gerald Ferguson 1,000,000 Pennies (1979).

The piece is exactly how it sounds. One million Canadian pennies. And boy, they sure are shiny.

The installation came into the gallery’s permanent collection in 2002 as a gift from the artist (evidently, your pennies can really add up). Now, ten years later—and based on events as of late—the installation seems like it may have a little more significance. But like the penny itself, it won’t be around for much longer.

The Material World exhibit, curated by David Diviney, has been at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia since January 21, and will be running until May 6.

And one thing’s for sure: you’ve never seen this many pennies in one place before. It’ll certainly give your piggybank a run for its money.

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