Public Art Registry
Aerodynamic Forms in Space
Aerodynamic Forms in Space
Aerodynamic Forms in Space
Georgia Street entrance
Stanley Park
Civic
2010
Sculpture
In place
City of Vancouver
Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program  - Legacy Sites
Description of work
A major figure in Canadian and international contemporary art, Vancouver artist Rodney Graham is well known for his conceptual and often humorous sculptures. His piece for the Georgia Street entrance to Stanley Park, a spectacular 400-hectare evergreen oasis in the downtown peninsula, is a 35 foot abstract stainless steel sculpture that replicates a balsa wood toy glider set; abstractly assembled as a modern sculpture. The work includes an impression of the twisted blue elastic band that would be used to power the glider, a propeller that slowly turns in the wind and wheels that whimsically bob.
Artist statement
The work takes its title from a series of photographs I shot in Vancouver in 1977…which documented a series of ‘incorrectly’ assembled toy glider kits…I put the models together not with a view to having them fly correctly, but with an eye to their aesthetic value as purely abstract sculptural forms… Part of the challenge inherent in making these works was the very limited instrumental set from which I had to draw. When I was asked to create a sculptural proposal for the entrance to Stanley Park, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to return to this work…and try to realize a large-scale version of one of these sculptures: to use the same very limited instrumental set with which anyone who has put together a toy glider would be familiar. The theme of flight seemed appropriate given the location too, for seaplanes are common sights at the entrance to the park. And the park, of course, is a place where children and adults may very well play with gliders… Plus it would be something that would be interesting when glimpsed only briefly by passengers in vehicles moving at relatively high speed along West Georgia. The title of the work is meant to evoke, in a slightly humorous way…that of a classical modernist public monument of a bygone period, elements of which the sculpture plays with.
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