Moving Surfaces

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Client: City of Ottawa

Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $1,600,000

Project Team

Artist

Jill Anholt

Landscape Architect

Jeffrey Staates

PFS Studio Landscape Architects

Overview

Composed from a series of steel shapes that bend and fold, Moving Surfaces is an; organic, fluid form is reminiscent of the flow of water itself. LEDs integrated into the face of the 9.3 x 50.8 x 13.9 m sculpture illuminate a composition of water patterns, textures and reflections inspired by a timeless journey along the Rideau Canal. The digital surface is designed to provide a dynamic, transformative surface for ongoing, changing content by other artists in the future. Artist collaborated with PFS Studio on design of the overall park and integration of the artwork.

Goals

The overall goals for the park design were to reclaim the site as a place of exhibition, celebration and civic identity, helping to poetically re-establish a connection to the surrounding community and the neighbouring Rideau Canal, which had been increasingly lost over the past century. The artwork was scaled and oriented to be seen and experienced from multiple viewpoints and levels of engagement, helping to create a new civic identity for the park. The work, while being both monumental in scale yet still delicate in form and expression, appropriated material and media normally reserved for commercial means, into a dynamic and transformative art experience that is open and accessible for all of the public.

Process

This project was a result of a winning submission for an international competition to design a new park on the edge of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. The collaboration between artist and designers began at the very beginnings of the conceptual design and continued throughout the project. The sculpture needed to be integrated into a complex set of existing landscape constraints and infrastructural needs. These included a response to existing historical elements, a berm of contaminated fill and the requirements of a large sports venue on the site.

Additional Information

The artist designed the initial content for the digital component of the artwork but has also created an interface that will allow for curated light works of other artists to be shown on the surface of the artwork for years to come.