Artist renderings of the future public art instalment along Memorial Drive in Parkdale are now available for viewing.
The sculpture by Brian Tolle will be integrated into an existing storm water outfall along the Bow River Pathway system in the community of Parkdale. The intent is to heighten the public’s awareness of the critical interface between the city’s engineered storm water infrastructure and our broader natural landscape.
“I was intrigued by the fact that the city drew its drinking water directly from the Bow River,” said New York based artist Brian Tolle, explaining how he took a hike to the river’s source, the Bow Glacier in Banff National Park, for inspiration.
“After having visited the Rockies I was certain that the mountains would play a major role in the sculptural design,” he said.
The Memorial Public Art and Plaza project is a collaborative design process with the landscape architecture firm of marc boutin architectural collaborative inc., and ties together public art, urban design and civil engineering.
“We are thrilled to share the intriguing concept developed for Calgarians by international artist Brian Tolle. This represents his first time working in Canada, and yet through extensive research and interdisciplinary collaboration, he has succeeded in presenting us with a piece that reflects our city’s unique physicality, celebrates our natural environment and shares an important message with Calgarians,” said Rachael Seupersad, Superintendant, Public Art..
The project, which is an inverted translation of Mount Peechee of the Fairholme Mountain Range, is slated for a Fall 2013 completion. Using 3D maps of the Rockies, Tolle was able to create tool paths that will guide a CNC milling machine in carving moulds with which to cast the range. The moulds, made of high density foam, will create concrete panels which will then be bolted together during installation, and backfilled with earth and more concrete. The public will be able to walk a bridge over the inverted mountains and view the storm water being drained into the river.
“I want to create a place where people can gather and experience the work in different ways,” said Tolle. “I hope that people will enjoy and formal presence of work and engage with the very important issues that it addresses . . . how storm water flows directly into the Bow River. Whenever it rains, subterranean sewers and outflows carry pollutants to the river.”
The concept design was shared with the Parkdale community association and residents through a community event at the beginning of October. The community has been engaged with the project team and the artist in a variety of ways over the last five years.
This public art opportunity is one of eight permanent public art projects outlined and funded through the Utilities and Environmental Protection Public Art Plan.
For more information on this project and the Public Art Program, visit calgary.ca/publicart.