Wolfe and the Sparrows

Submitted by Brandon Vickerd

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Client: City of Calgary, Alberta - Transportation Division

Location: Calgary, AB, Canada

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $220,000

Project Team

Lead Artist

Brandon Vickerd

Foundry/Fabricator

Bronzeart

Overview

Commissioned by the City of Calgary Wolfe and the Sparrows consists of a traditionally rendered monument that appears intact from a distance; however, as the viewer moves closer, the upper body of the sculpture transforms into a flock of sparrows scattering into the distance. Cast in bronze and positioned on a traditional raised pedestal, this sculpture utilizes the language and aesthetic of traditional statuary to actively subvert the authority of public monuments.
Completion Date: 2019 Dimensions: 6 m x 2.5m x 2.5m Material: bronze
Budget: $225,0000 Location: (Inglewood) Calgary Alberta

Goals

The concept for Wolfe and the Sparrows resulted from a three-month collaborative process with the citizens of Inglewood and the City of Calgary Public Art Indigenous Guiding Circle. Vickerd’s approach to the community consultation was to connect with the surrounding population through organized and informal events which included workshops, outreach events, and other socially engaged processes of research. Wolfe and the Sparrows is modelled on Monument to Wolfe sculpted in 1898 by the Scottish artist John Massey Rhind and currently installed in the city of Calgary. Utilizing Monument to Wolfe as the basis for Wolfe and the Sparrows is a direct reflection of the community’s desire to commission an artwork that addressed issues of contested history and acknowledged the flaws inherent in historic narratives.

Process

The design and fabrication process for Wolfe and the Sparrows involved collaboration with the landscape architects Carson McCulloch Associates LTD who were responsible for the overall reconstruction of the site; the transportation Division of the City of Calgary who funded the project; BronzeArt Foundry who fabricated the sculpture; and Heavy Industries who fabricated the pedestal.