It’s been several years in the works but CITY FABRIC is now underway and due for installation under the south end of Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge this Summer. Rebecca (spacemakeplace) and Matthew Soules (MSA) have recently been material testing. More to come soon…
“The [Burrard] Inlet and Indian Arm have been a source of sustenance for the Tsleil-Waututh people since time out of mind. Our Elders taught us that when the tide went out, the table was set. Industrial development over the past 75 years has made it impossible for our children to enjoy the natural resources that our grandmothers and grandfathers enjoyed.” – Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation
BOUNTY is a public art proposal by spacemakeplace inspired by a quote from Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Her people have lived on the shores around Burrard Inlet for millennia. BOUNTY is intended to honor the commitment and spirit of many local communities situated in Vancouver, especially around Burrard Inlet, who are stewards of our waters, air and land.
BOUNTY abstracts a Littleneck Clam, native to Burrard Inlet, by enlarging it to the size of seating and then casting it in white Ductal®, an ultra-high performance concrete. Ductal® has a fine, shell-like finish and can render realistic detail but is incredibly resilient to hostile environments and so is a perfect material for use in public art where tactility and durability are important.
The outsize proportion of the clam sculpture signifies the abundance, or BOUNTY of seafood that a clean and healthy Burrard Inlet can provide. Three clams are proposed to be clustered in a public plaza in Port Moody, BC. as a monument to this important body of water.
Rebecca and IMu made this mini maquette of one of the “Two Sisters” before STORYTELLING goes to final production. It is exciting to see a 3D preview! The finished STORYTELLING sculptures will be 62″ tall and fabricated from cut aluminum.
Five thousand years ago a huge glacier, a mile thick covered what is now Vancouver, BC.
As this massive ice sheet flowed down the Fraser Valley and across the Lower Mainland, it pushed and crushed mountains of rock in its path. When the giant ice sheet receded back up into the mountains at the end of the last Ice Age it deposited millions of large boulders in its wake.
These glacial erratics remain scattered all over Vancouver, usually buried below the city. As Vancouver grows and the land is developed and redeveloped these ancient boulders are exposed by excavation and removed, once again setting them in motion.
Cantharellus formosus is a mycelium commonly known as the Pacific Golden Chanterelle mushroom and is native to the Pacific Northwest. The popular edible mushrooms are the fruiting bodies that form on nodes of much larger mycelium organisms that live in the soil and criss-cross the region in vast networks.
The Pacific Golden Chanterelle, like other fungi, are ancient forms of life. Pacific Golden Chanterelle share an intimate and symbiotic relationship with the West Coast’s conifer forests and especially the mighty Western Cedar. These two very different species support each other in a mutually beneficial way at a cellular level, giving and taking important resources that lie beyond each other’s reach.
The Pacific Golden Chanterelle is fed by, and in return feeds, the conifers while actively supporting its community, helping to support soil structure, regulate moisture content and recover nutrients from decomposition. The Pacific Golden Chanterelle lives off the land with its amazing web of branching, connecting hyphae and in doing so strengthens the surrounding landscape.
Conifer forests once fully covered Burnaby, BC and as early as 5000 years ago this area was the foraging and hunting territory for native aboriginal societies. The Pacific Golden Chanterelle featured in the diets of Coastal First Nations and they remain popular delicacies in locally sourced cuisine today.
Pacific Golden Chanterelle mushrooms still appear in local forests from July to December and are identified by their orangy-yellow colour, meaty texture and funnel-shape. On the underside of the smooth cap, the mushroom has gill-like ridges that run down onto its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap. The false gills often have a pinkish hue. Chanterelles have a mild, sweet odor, are very high in Vitamin D, Iron, Copper, and Niacin. It is interesting to note that Vitamin D is especially important to humans who live in places that can have low-light conditions.
Since Settler times the landscape around Burnaby’s Metrotown has been transformed and today it is a busy urban centre and hub for transit and retail. Maps of Metrotown show how it is connected to its neighboring cities and communities by a network of roads, including the historic Kingsway, the Skytrain as well as many bus routes and cycle networks. More detailed maps indicate an additionally complex web of power lines, water lines, and communication networks that interconnect and support city life like a giant hidden organism.
Each pathway and connection provides an opportunity for social interaction and the sharing of ideas. Mycelium like Cantharellus formosus can be understood as an organic metaphor for the interconnected social networks that bind modern urban communities such as Burnaby’s Metrotown area together – each part connected to the next.
Pacific Salmon once thrived in the many creeks and streams that flow through the area now known as Vancouver. This iconic species connects the land, water, people and animals and has always been an integral part of the life and culture of the people of Canada’s West Coast. Legends tell us of the determination and persistence of the Salmon and how they serve as symbols of abundance, wealth, prosperity, dependability and renewal. Facing the threat of extinction the Pacific Salmon were formally designated BC’s official fish in 2013.
Pacific Salmon – Official Fish of British Columbia
Brewery Creek, one of Vancouver’s most important creeks, once flowed openly from what is now 41st Avenue down St. George Street and into False Creek along with dozens of other nearby creeks and streams. It was named Brewery Creek by settlers because it provided water and energy to a number of small breweries established along its banks around the turn of the 20th century.
Waterfall on Heather St at 9th Avenue c.1909
A working-class neighbourhood grew around these breweries and factories at Main St and Kingsway. Connected to downtown Vancouver by new streetcar routes, ‘Mount Pleasant’ became Vancouver’s first suburb. By the 1950s many of the smaller breweries along Brewery Creek had been bought out by larger companies and relocated elsewhere. The creek, and many others like it, were thought to be no longer important and as the area developed for residential and commercial use the creeks and streams were covered or filled and eventually built on top of.
View of Vancouver from Mt. Pleasant c.1892
Vancouver’s impressive annual rainfall (1153.1 mm) however, still drains through this entire watershed. Although the ‘lost’ streams are mostly hidden from view, they are definitely still present, diverted below the surface of the city in culverts and pipes, many of which follow the course of the original streams.
‘Daylighted’ stream at Ontario Street and 1st Avenue
The 55.2 hectares (136.5 acres) Garden City Lands, located between Westminster Highway, Alderbridge Way, Garden City Way and No. 4 Road, is within Vancouver’s protected Agricultural Land Reserve and plays a crucial role as a wildlife refuge in the City of Richmond. The green spaces like is an incredible amenity for the people of Richmond and is also a vital habitat and hunting ground for several rare or threatened species including the Barn Owl.
Barn Owls can and will cohabit with other owls, bats and small birds like doves and sparrows. Barn Owls prefer quiet cavities to nest or roost either in trees or tall structures with multiple openings. They easily take to nest boxes placed on poles or mounted on modern barns as long as the box is at least 3-4 m above the ground and safely out of reach from raccoons and other predators. Once Barn Owls discover a nest box it will normally be used every year.
Research shows that even a single nest box can mean survival for local Barn Owls and can help increase threatened populations significantly. The Richmond Nature Park, located only a short distance from the Garden City Lands, manages a Barn Owl nest box program with seven nest boxes installed around Richmond on behalf of the City. The three nest boxes located at Terra Nova Rural Park all reared young in 2014!
There is potential for at least one more Barn Owl nest box at Terra Nova and several other suitable locations have been identified around Richmond and earmarked for funding when it becomes available.
Location: Hadden Park. Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC.
Before the Vancouver Parks Board converted the Hadden Park Field House into an artist studio we had the opportunity to photograph the abandoned residence of the former grounds keeper.
After a three month renovation the Hadden Park Field House will be home to the Ten Fifteen Maple artist collective. For the next two years Ten Fifteen Maple will use the space for public events and activities