Elbow Island Park: The Wandering Island
A rich, colourful, organic installation at Elbow Island Park
Several permanent, functional artworks by local and national artists have been created and installed into existing park infrastructure. These public artworks create and enhance a space found between city and nature, land and river, public and private, camouflaged and forgotten.
The artists consulted with a number of subject matter experts including ecologists, river engineers, Indigenous Elders and members of the Moh'kinsstis Public Art Guiding Circle. The artworks are meant to preserve the natural elements of the park, improve park safety and accessibility, and leave a small footprint on the land.
The park reopened in December 2020.
Learn more about the project, the thought process, the artists and the documentary on The Wandering Island project website.
About the lead artists
Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett
Calgary-based artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett work with diverse mediums and materials, ranging from artificial light to re-appropriated architectural debris. Their work has exhibited internationally in countries such as Russia, Turkey, Australia, and Japan. For more information visit: https://incandescentcloud.com
Lane Shordee is a multidisciplinary artist living in Calgary, Alberta. He creates work that has strong ties to urban ecology and recycling, utilizing techniques that combine a variety of materials in various installations. For more information visit: laneshordee.com
Artworks and artist statements
Building back from the flood
Starting in summer 2019, areas of Elbow Island Park will have fish habitat restoration and flood mitigation work happening:
- The side channel will be reconnected to the river,
- Excess gravel and vegetation will be removed and,
- Critical habitat lost during the 2013 flood will be rebuilt and constructed.
The Wandering Island is based upon the flood, the natural processes of our environment and the unique location of the art itself - Elbow Island Park.
Public investment and value
The budget for The Wandering Island is $525,000. It includes all aspects to conceive, design, produce, and install the new features, as well as producing the documentary.
This project supported many local businesses, contributing to the strength of Calgary’s economy. In addition to supporting 12 Calgarian and Canadian artists, engineering, fabrication and installation work was also completed by local companies.
The value for your investment is an enhanced park experience in the inner-city. These artworks aim to increase accessibility for the public to explore, relax, contemplate, escape and reflect on the power of nature.
Come and reconnect with the wildness of this special place in the heart of our city.