After working all day, the nice thing about leaving work is that I can go hang out with more crazy Calgary public art displays. In front, the Canadian Pacific office, there is a lovely locomotive hulk and tender that’s been meticulously restored to its former glory by the CP shop employees for permanent display in front of CPR’s Calgary headquarters.
Opposite the CP Rail headquarters, we have Bankers Hall with “between the earth & the sky/measuring the immeasurable I” … now I didn’t really try to figure out the whole premise of the installation itself … what I got was sculpture of a naked runic man, looking on other naked runic men. I will say that it is framed beautifully with the light settings and background of all the buildings surrounding it.
Then heading past Bankers Hall, you pass the trees
Then you stumble upon the nuts and bolts of Kabuki and Sadko. “Kabuki” (the yellow figure) and “Sadko” were created in 1972 by artist Sorel Etrog from Romania. Their design, which is said to be representative of Japanese music and culture, stems from the artist’s fascination with a display of nuts and bolts in a Canadian Tire store – yeah seriously. I mean when was the last time you went into a hardware store and thought about all the art that you could make.
There is a lot of abstract art in Calgary … it must be all the oil money that has enabled artists to get funded over here. Kabuki has a red friend called Sadko …
After that set of screws, then you’re walking down Second Street S.W., to stumble upon the giant bronze tribute to Outlaw — a 995-kilogram, red and white speckled bull who was only ever ridden once in 71 tries. Only in Calgary would a bull have a bronze statue – but one can get that it represents determination and grit. It does make sense that in good old Cowtown, visitors will be able to feast their eyes on an enormous bronze sculpture of a terrifying bull in mid-rage. Forget the Calgary Tower or the backdrop of the majestic Rockies, the people in Cowtown want you get the big bull smack-dab in the heart of the city.
At this point, it’s too cold and I wander off past Fifth Avenue … to the Westin.