Public Art Registry
Fountain of Time
Photo: Maxime Cyr-Morton
Fountain of Time  - photo by Maxime Cyr-Morton
Fountain of Time - photo by Maxime Cyr-Morton
350 West Georgia Street
Vancouver Public Library
Front plaza
Civic
1995
Stone mosaic
Fountain
In place
City of Vancouver
Library Square
Description of work
Water cascades down a curved 3m high x 15m long wall of semi-circular tiles in a fish scale pattern into a tiled pool with designs related to time: a clock face and ruins.
Artist statement
"In reference to the library, the theme can be read as fragments which fit together like a jigsaw puzzle to form a larger picture much as one accesses the library in quest of materials to fit in gaps of knowledge or time. The birth of the mechanical clock circa 1,000 AD was a technological innovation that, as Lewis Mumford pointed out in "Technics and Civilization" made possible the mechanical clock as a simile for his paradigm of the workings of nature, a paradigm cited in recent years as contributing to the world's current ecological state: hence the "ruins" of a clock face. Yet what is watered grows; thus even an ancient ruins can initiate new life, as the unearthing of sculpture from an ancient Greece was seminal in issuing forth that springtime in Italy known as the Renaissance. This is not a fountain of youth but of time, old time reborn in the ever flowing spring of records of human endeavour. With the advent of the millenium at hand, reflections on the passing of time increase. The numbers observable in Fountain of Time (five, six, seven) reflect a countdown to the millenium: '95, '96 '97. In this context the fountain is a portrait of a certain reality of our time. Yet this particular reality (that of the twentieth century drawing to a close, and what that brings to mind), is only one of many many realities, relevent to those following the Gregorian calendar rather than for example the Islamic, Tibetan or Mayan calendars. This notion of "mutable reality" is a familiar theme in my work, which seeks to explore the boundaries of realism and representation: Time... History... Motion... Imagination... Reflection…
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