Award of Merit – Urban Fragments
Landscape Architect: Carlyle and Associates in Collaboration with Ted Blodgett
Artist: Ted Blodgett (E.D. Blodgett)
Project owner: City of Edmonton
Location: Louise McKinney Riverfront Park occupies a commanding central location within the river valley parks, south and east of the Shaw Conference Centre and adjacent to Edmonton’s downtown.
Public art is an essential component of Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, within the objective of creating a park that is to be a cultural amenity as much as it is open space. The art works offer the opportunity to tell the stories of Edmonton, its people and their relationship to the environment.
The poetry rings are the first public art installation in the park. The rings are acid-etched stainless steel bands fastened to the lamp poles along the World Walk and River Promenade; the main east-west walks in the park.
The rings are approximately 15 cm height with a radius of 185 mm. The text is an italic font that alludes to the feeling of poetry.
The poems are part of the overall interpretive plan for the park that will include both interpretive displays and art works at key locations over the park site.
The poems are based on two themes. Those along the World Walk are based on the theme of Edmonton’s place in the World and titled “Dreams of a City” while those along the River Promenade are about the North Saskatchewan River and titled “Gifts of a River.”
There are 40 poems in total, in six languages that represent Edmonton’s founding communities.
The poems are meant to both stand on their own and to be read as a group. They add a level of detailed thought-provoking experience complementing the vast panoramic experiences along the walks.
- The project is very subtle in its expression.
- The poetry rings can easily be picked out, but they do not interfere with the landscape.
- This is almost a civic design project; using a utilitarian object as civic art.
- The project doesn’t mar your expectations. It’s a very creative attempt to incorporate poetry into the landscape.