Near As Far As Far As Near
DK

Near As Far As Far As Near

Devon Knowles

Arthur Erickson intended his design of the Simon Fraser University campus to remain in harmony with Burnaby Mountain, using shallow stepped terraces and emphasizing horizontal planes that echo the landscape contours. To cross through the site is to experience stairs in all their aspirational associations and perspectival instabilities: we ascend and descend and ascend once more. At the top of the stairs we find stairs. Stopping to get our bearings in one of many lateral expanses we notice multiple staircases join and separate in studied horizontal geometries. Devon Knowles has titled her new work Near As Far As Far As Near , echoing this formal symmetry in its very syntax. Her title lays out spatial relationships and reverses them, evoking a certain back and forth rhythm. In the series of banners devised for the 75 lamp standards along University High Street and selected intersecting roads, four images of the campus staircases repeat …

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Yellow Fence
ES

Yellow Fence

Erica Stocking

Drawn lines—forming grids, plans and abstract patterns—are a powerful way of plotting the future, of imagining and communicating a form to be built, and a rational method of claiming, measuring and negotiating the dense forest that defines our west coast landscape. As we move through our day-to-day geography, we bear down upon this invention, as a system to understand time and space and the shifting conditions of our own particular orientation. Yellow Fence draws upon this history of thinking about time and space as well as the materials and means by which boundaries are created, re-drawn and permeated in the complex use of the built environment by communities of people. Abstraction, and its relationship to the imaginary, is made concrete in the objects we dwell within and walk upon, for “within the abstract, there can be a lived experience of order.” In developing her artwork, Erica Stocking considered Arthur Erickson’s original response …

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EcoSoMo
MS

EcoSoMo

Matthew Soules

EcoSoMo, an abbreviation of Ecological Social Modules, is a series of sculptural forms clustered evenly along the full length of University High Street between Tower and Crescent. Separately, the components are asymmetrical and dynamic shapes that fit together like puzzle pieces. Placed together, they support the interaction of people, plants and wildlife through elevated planters, seating and rain pool birdbaths. Local plantings erupt from the summits of ‘volcano’ shaped obelisks, nestled close to rain pool forms that create micro-habitats for local birds. Beneath these, seating modules and kiosk-like forms suggest a sociable platform for gathering, resting and conversation. Their placement introduces multiple rhythms along the busy streetscape: the modules repeat and recombine systematically; perennial plantings flourish and recede with the season, and precipitation gathers and ebbs away. While there is an ancient sensibility in the architectural references of obelisk and pedestal, the light and clean surfaces, modular construction and systematic placement lend …

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Concrete Tree Imprint
AK

Concrete Tree Imprint

Amelia Epp and Kevin Sandgren

The first work of public art initiated by the SFU Community Trust at UniverCity is Concrete Tree Imprint, installed in 2006. Amelia Epp and Kevin Sandgren, undergraduate students in Fine Arts and the Humanities at that time, responded to an open call for proposals from the SFU community by the 2004 SFU Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue, led by Director Mark Winston. A student initiative, the ‘Art Takes Route’ program engaged Dialogue students in conceiving the vision for the competition, managing its implementation and arriving at the final decision on the successful entry. As a consideration of the abrupt change that was about to happen, Epp and Sandgren’s proposal focused on the contrasts and connections between the natural landscape and the new community that was to come. The artwork drew directly from its surroundings over the two years of its development: surroundings that have changed markedly since its completion. In an area cleared …

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Nest with Chrome Eggs
BV

Nest with Chrome Eggs

Bruce Voyce

Bruce Voyce has long believed that art has transformative power, opening the minds and hearts of others. Public art shapes shared spaces into places of inspiration and connection. By exploring the interface between nature and humanity, Voyce’s work, including Nest with Chrome Eggs celebrates life. Voyce’s realization of the public imagination by changing a passing moment into something mysterious and beautiful, utilizes an evolving exploration of materials. Hybrid forms are created that are simultaneously natural and artificial. His sculptures read in a way that is familiar and enigmatic—there is a step beyond self-expression, towards illuminating physical consciousness. Sculpture specifically can interconnect the realms of art, science, nature and  humanity. Public art can act as a unified gesture of permanence. Nature gently reclaims technology; the landscape is integrated with the art, and the art with the land. With these principles in mind, the environment becomes a theatre, creating a world of possibilities and wonder. Each …

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Nightswimming
BC

Nightswimming

Brent Comber

Free play needs space – to launch quick and slow movements, for loud and quiet activity, for gathering in groups and for being on one’s own. Within the expansive and multi-level play space at UniverCity’s Childcare Centre, space2place designers and local artists have collaborated on creating an environment in which all these forms of experimentation and performance can co-exist and overlap. The environment they have created invites exuberance and imagination, and through the carefully chosen natural materials of three of its features, expresses a reverence for the forests of the west coast. Titled after a resonant memory from Brent Comber’s childhood, Nightswimming is encountered at the entrance to the Centre. Three hefty steps are hewn from the middle section of a nineteen-foot Western Red Cedar, while preserving the original girth of the log on either end. Sourced directly from the site, it has been skinned of bark, while preserving

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Rootwad Cedar Climber
WA

Rootwad Cedar Climber

Warren Brubacher

Set in the sand at the Centre’s ground level, an up-ended stump evokes the discoveries to be found on a day at the beach. In contrast to the terraced plantings and curved concrete pathways that encircle it, the stretched limbs, knees and elbows give this object creature-like qualities. This specimen can bear weight, and can indulge the impulse to balance, swing and jump. It cradles a boulder in the tangle of roots, and its knots and variegated skin reward both visual and tactile curiosity. Pockets of shade and small sheltering bays are formed at its base, inviting experiments in crafting miniature worlds. Warren Brubacher states “There are only pockets of the original forest remaining within the BC rainforest and the ancient stumps and remnants that are left behind from logging here in the Squamish area are the treasures that I gather.” This irregular ‘wild wood’ carries with it centuries of history in the gnarls, twists and burls that deem …

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Woven Huts
WA

Woven Huts

Alastair Heseltine

Set in the sand at the Centre’s ground level, an up-ended stump evokes the discoveries to be found on a day at the beach. In contrast to the terraced plantings and curved concrete pathways that encircle it, the stretched limbs, knees and elbows give this object creature-like qualities. This specimen can bear weight, and can indulge the impulse to balance, swing and jump. It cradles a boulder in the tangle of roots, and its knots and variegated skin reward both visual and tactile curiosity. Pockets of shade and small sheltering bays are formed at its base, inviting experiments in crafting miniature worlds. Warren Brubacher states “There are only pockets of the original forest remaining within the BC rainforest and the ancient stumps and remnants that are left behind from logging here in the Squamish area are the treasures that I gather.” This irregular ‘wild wood’ carries with it centuries of history in the gnarls, twists and burls that deem …

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