On Tuesday, July 14 and Wednesday, July 15, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) is inviting Calgarians to gather along St. Patrick’s Bridge deck to watch a new permanent art installation – Bloom – take shape on the newly redeveloped St. Patrick’s Island.
Commissioned through CMLC’s Art in the Public Realm program, Bloom is a monumental sculpture of streetlights by Canadian artist Michel de Broin.
The sculpture, says de Broin, was inspired “by the encounter between the natural landscape of the park and the urban cityscape” and its principal aim is to “create points of encounter and interaction.”
“Conceptually, it dovetails seamlessly with CMLC’s guiding vision for our restoration of St. Patrick’s Island,” says Michael Brown, CMLC’s President and CEO. “In fact, creating points of encounter and interaction is something we’ve endeavoured to do in all of our redevelopment efforts in East Village and the Rivers District. It also aligns perfectly with a key objective of our Art in the Public Realm program – namely, to surprise, delight and provoke connection and memorable interaction.”
Bloom is the third permanent art installation to come about through the Art in the Public Realm program in support of CMLC’s focus on purposeful placemaking.
Measuring 23 metres tall, Bloom comprises 10 elements (six street lights, three legs, a polyhedron and a foundation) that together weigh more than 8,150 kilograms (approximately 18,000 pounds). The heaviest single piece weights around 2,700 kg (6,000 lb).
Fabricated at Lafontaine Iron Werks in Penetang, Ontario, the sculpture’s component parts came to Calgary via transport truck. To manoeuver these massive components into place, the installation crew will use two boom cranes and a 25-metre (65-foot) articulating man-lift. Fastened together with structural bolts, the sculpture will be fixed upon a very stable sub-surface foundation comprising a grade beam on piles.
Installation is planned to begin at 7:30 am on July 14 and is expected to be substantially complete by the morning of July 16. Bloom will be accessible to the public when St. Patrick’s Island reopens at the end of July. Until then, it will be viewable from the St. Patrick’s Bridge deck.