Art media

Culture and collaboration inspire new art installation in Agassiz – Agassiz Harrison Observer

Agassiz artist Mike Ewards and Sto: lō artist Zack McNeill-Bobb stand tall with their collaborative sculpture titled “Squaring the Circle,” now on display in Agassiz Pioneer Park. The sculpture is part of the Kent District 125th anniversary celebration and represents different cultures and perspectives all living in one valley. (Photo provided / Sabina Iseli-Otto)
Artist Agassiz Mike Edwards has created art installations across British Columbia, often partnering with artist Agassiz Rose Quintana.  (Photo provided / Sabina Iseli-Otto)Artist Agassiz Mike Edwards has created art installations across British Columbia, often partnering with artist Agassiz Rose Quintana. (Photo provided / Sabina Iseli-Otto)
Sto: lō artist Zack McNeil-Bobb was the very first artist to be featured in a pop-up residency at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison Hot Springs.  (Photo provided / Sabina Iseli-Otto)Sto: lō artist Zack McNeil-Bobb was the very first artist to be featured in a pop-up residency at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison Hot Springs. (Photo provided / Sabina Iseli-Otto)

A new work of art has discreetly manifested itself in the pioneer park of Agassiz.

Local artist Mike Edwards and Sto: lō artist Zack McNeill-Bobb created “Squaring the Circle” in honor of the Kent District 125th anniversary.

In the midst of the cold December rain, the artists completed the installation on December 10. Starting from the base of ancient stones polished by glaciers, the sculpture pays homage to the Fraser Valley long before the Fraser Valley bore its colloquially known name. .

The east face of the sculpture is the work of McNeill-Bobb, titled “Slalem te Alemex”. It is a four-sided representation of Turtle Island. The four faces represent the four cardinal directions on a map, and the turtle itself represents a moving house wherever you go, there is home. The circular shape of the turtle can represent the animal itself, the cycle of the seasons, or the world.

“If you look closely, you will see that the four faces share a mouth, and it represents diversity with a shared voice, and offers a vision for a better future together,” the artists said. The observer.

The west face of the sculpture was created by Mike Edwards and is titled “Tabula”, the Latin word for table. Edwards chose this name because tables are where conversations take place. “Tabula” is also a reference to the phrase “tabula rasa”, which means a new beginning or a clean slate.

The map on the west face shows lines of longitude and latitude crossing mountains, rivers, and local landmarks.

The name “Squaring the Circle” comes from an ancient mathematical problem of trying to create a square that perfectly encompasses a circle. While the area of ​​a square is easy to calculate, the circle is a bit more complicated.

“The circle is another story,” the artists wrote. “Calculating the area of ​​a circle involves the magic number pi, which is infinite. In other words, you can literally calculate the numbers in the area of ​​a circle until the cows come home. The area of ​​a circle cannot equal the area of ​​a circle, but we can really get close to it.

The sculpture itself is believed to represent different points of view, different houses, and different ways of drawing maps, all occupying the same valley.

The 1967 novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Márquez inspired the sculpture.

“This book recognizes history, colonization and, at the same time, respect for science and the true magic of nature,” the artists said. “We hope our sculpture will do the same. We also hope that you will find your own stories in the works of art. Ultimately, whether we are defined by squares or circles, we all share this valley of rich soils and the river that runs along its bed of polished stones.

The artists gave special thanks to Kent District, District Director of Community Services and Projects, Jennifer Thornton Agassiz Ready Mix.


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