The Water Spiral project utilized items collected at the Wildwood Community Cleanup to create a kinetic sculpture that acts as a functional point of interest in the community garden. The process of making the sculpture provided opportunity for dialogue, inquiry, and education around garbage, recycling, and our societal views of beauty and management of these materials.
The cleanup was in May 2014. We coordinated with the existing Wildwood Volunteer committee for an annual, well-organized event in order to pick and choose valuable items that will help us create this unique sculpture out of the refuse material. The sculpture highlights Wildwood’s diverse and active residents and it’s dedication to the environment and community. The sculptures water has both a functional and playful element. In terms of function, the sculpture will store rainwater that will be used for the wicking beds, helping to lessen the need for city water. Water also becomes an element of play, which attracts humans as well as local wildlife, and encourages interactivity.
Throughout its almost 60 years, Wildwood has built its community hall and surrounding area to provide special spaces for gathering, activities and engagement for its residents. Multiple users and demographics, include tennis and hockey players, painting clubs, the community playschool and elementary, yoga groups, musicians, seniors, and many more.
Our permaculturists bring with them, guiding principles of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. This is another beautiful contribution, in line with the history and intent of decades of residents that have worked tirelessly to make Wildwood one of the most enjoyable, healthy, and desirable neighborhoods in the city. In the history of civilization nothing binds people and community together more than the land and environment in which they live. The strong sense of belonging that our previous generations built needs to be reinforced by sustainable projects like our permaculture garden in order to continue. Our sculpture will have a direct functioning relationship to the garden, community and its users so that it may continue to flourish and bring us together in healthy, beautiful community.
We organized this project to include direct participation and leadership opportunities from members of the Wildwood community. A volunteer committee was a great help to us, gathering and organizing materials the day of that event. An onsite, open studio space for the fabrication of the sculpture provided continual observation and engagement with the community and offered them the chance to step forth and help in production via an open workshop opportunity.
Who doesn’t love a beautiful garden space that engages all of the senses and draws you into its arms? The young permaculture garden in Wildwood and its communal area would be the ideal place for a structural focal point, designed to be both functional as well as welcoming and interesting to its guests.
This sculpture will have a historic and irreverent presence to many people and water is a natural magnet for people of all ages, geographies and demographics. It will be a valuable educational tool providing ongoing kinetic stimulation and engagement into the future. We believe the Water Spiral project will engage ad create a sense of ownership, beauty and education invaluable to the neighborhood and its outreach to other Calgary neighborhoods looking to connect art, the environment and community.