Tsą tsą ke k’e – “Iron Foot Place” is a spectacular 45-foot diameter circular mosaic set in the floor of Ford Hall of Rogers Place. This piece honours the land area where Edmonton is located, highlighting the colours of beautiful sky, the stories of the area, and clear waters from far away mountains. It illustrates Edmonton’s history and continuing legacy as a meeting place: “All roads lead to the area, Edmonton, as it is a central destiny for all who came before, and who came after.”
Figures in Motion, created by St. Albert-based artist Al Henderson, combines the disciplines of painting and sculpture to create an artwork that celebrates movement and motion. In creating the work, the artist thought about the rink and the activity that will animate it; “These places have a sense of community, are a little wild sometimes, a bit proud and a whole lot of fun.” Bold, enticing and free-flowing, the work centres on a skater and changes when viewed from many distances and angles by both pedway and rink users. The closer you get to the artwork, details such as pucks, skates, gestures and small figures reveal themselves.
Essential Tree, designed by the Berlin-based artist collective realities:united, is a large representation of the abstract trees used by architects in their design models. The artwork explores the natural environment, while at the same time playing homage to the topiaries of the European Baroque era. Placed in a planter, the sculpture interacts with the real ash trees, which will be planted in the area. It will take 60 years for one of these trees to reach the scale of this 14.5 metre tall, faceted sculpture. The artists write, “[Essential Tree] reminds the viewer to carefully and critically attend to the impact of mankind – our impact – on nature, so as to avoid that something magnificent turns megalomaniac.”
This brightly coloured, circular sculpture achieves a dramatic pictorial presence. Its flowing, willow-like form becomes a framing device capturing the dynamics of ice-skating. The push of the blade, as it cuts into the ice surface to propel the skater forward, is exemplified through a myriad of cutout shapes, which evoke the style of Henri Matisse, creating the sculpture’s dynamic form. A stepped, podium-like plinth combined with the sculpture’s frame-like form create a welcoming symbol for the area – an artwork functioning as a place-maker identifying the facility and the activities therein. The setting encourages citizens and visitors to embrace it as a meeting place and to use it as a dramatic backdrop for photo opportunities.
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