West Eau Claire – Public Art
As part of Calgary’s downtown riverfront, West Eau Claire Park is a well-loved and utilized public space. Defining the edge of the Centre City, people of all ages and backgrounds come together to enjoy the river and open spaces along the park.
In 2014 The City began a park design development process which involved community engagement with area residents, stakeholders, and citizens. This resulted in The West Eau Claire Park Public Realm Plan. This plan aims to build on the river’s inherent qualities and to create an inspiring public park that truly represents modern Calgary.
Phase I of The West Eau Claire Park Public Realm Plan is focused on the Delta Garden, located south of the iconic Peace Bridge. The public art is integrated directly into the landscape of the garden. Thousands of brass survey monuments are embedded in the pathway, glittering like light across water. The survey monuments are inscribed with words from Calgarians and visitors, collected through the Invisible City Survey.
Intended to trace ‘desire lines’ through (and beyond) our city, this artwork speaks to the disconnect between manmade methods of mapping the landscape, the land’s constantly-changing natural divisions, and the power of our perception to transform any given place. Informed by two years of research and experimentation, the public artwork was designed for the site-specific context of West Eau Claire Park and the people who use that space. By collecting a spectrum of perspectives, the artists hope to illuminate our own invisible city.
You can read more about this project at www.invisiblecitysurvey.com
In accordance with the standard selection process, an open call to artists was issued and Calgary-based artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garret were chosen to create a design for the pathways.
They work with diverse mediums and materials, ranging from artificial light to re-appropriated architectural debris. Their practice combines conceptual and industrial backgrounds, often resulting in public sculptures and installations. Viewers are invited to participate in the art, sharing in strange experiences one step beyond the everyday. Using mass-produced objects to reference cities as immeasurable collections of materials, people, and situations, the artists invite a critical shift in perspective. Beautiful, subversive, playful, and radically inclusive, their practice emphasizes transformation above all else.
Caitlind and Wayne’s work includes the sculpture CLOUD, which debuted at the inaugural Nuit Blanche Calgary in 2012. Their work has exhibited internationally in countries such as Russia, Turkey, Australia, and Japan. When working independently, Wayne is a machinist, musician, and composer; Caitlind is a co-founder and co-curator for WRECK CITY, a curatorial collective.