Another chapter of public art is evolving along EV’s RiverWalk thanks to the creative minds of three local artists. Under the umbrella of art collective Light & Soul, Calgarians Daniel J. Kirk, Ivan Ostapenko and Kai Cabunoc-Boettcher have been tirelessly collaborating on the new installation for the past nine months. EV’s master developer Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), initiated an open RFP process last summer to identify local artists to create work to replace the existing RiverWalk art installation ‘I am the River’ by Derek Besant. The Light & Soul Collective trio beat out a throng of contenders for their creative and collaborative concepts.
The new artworks entitled - The Field Manual: A compendium of local confluence - will adorn RiverWalk’s bridge abutments, storage sheds and signature robo-bathrooms for the next 24-months and is part of CMLC’s Art in the Public Realm Program that calls for the integration of both permanent and temporary art installations within the community.
The artist trio describes their work as:
A collaborative effort that stems from the idea of the East Village. Individual stories and collective history informed our personal ideas about what east Calgary may have been and what it may be. The work – a collection of ideas –merges past, present and future into a playful interpretation of place.
This place is a confluence of nature, culture and infrastructure. The work finds specific context where the Elbow River meets the Bow, old traditions intersect and inform new trends and displacement/replacement, growth and decay are evident around each bend.
Light & Soul’s installation process will take place over the next few weeks with completion slated for early June. The installation combines traditional art-making techniques which are layered with digital processes that create the images and sculptures. The work is comprised of paint, print, EPS foam, vector lines, steel, stucco, photography and vinyl among other materials. “It is a guide for exploring the relationships that texture our experience,” states the artist trio.
“Daniel, Ivan and Kai spent months researching and absorbing the history and culture of East Village, says Clare Nolan, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation. “Their artwork really captures the spirit of the community’s past, present and future through vivid graphic depictions and we are thrilled to see their work come to life in East Village.”
The team brings complementary skills sets to the project: Kirk is the visual artist concerned with culture, connection, urbanization and its by-products; Ostapenko is the fabricator, “our practical, logical and infrastructure mind,” says Kirk; and Cabunoc-Boettcher is the groups connection to the natural influences through his experience with urban gardens and other community art projects.
When asked what the trio is most excited about, Kirk says “Sharing our work with the public is the most exciting stage. Public work is open and vulnerable to feedback and criticism, so we wanted to create something worth talking about, worth stopping to take in, something that shows people that there’s more to the city than meets the eye.”
And we think it will do just that!
For a sneak peek or to watch it unfold live, stop by RiverWalk over the next few weeks and see the trio in action. And stay tuned for exciting updates as the install progresses.