A DIFFERENT KIND OF ARTISTIC WORK
- Greg Crone, Kitchener / Waterloo Record
Think about the stereotypical image of the artist, starving alone in a garret, wearing a black beret, paint and pallet in hand, suffering over a canvas. Now think again.
Meet Lynne Eichenberg and Brad Golden, the artistic dynamic duo who are the creators of Horse Power, the public sculpture that was installed Wednesday at Kitchener's new city hall.
Wearing jeans, T-shirts and work boots as they supervised the installation, they are indistinguishable from the construction workers doing last-minute work on the city hall. Although based in Toronto, they are both graduates of the University of Waterloo's school of architecture.
"We have a foot in both camps," said Eichenberg. "In construction and in art."
Standing in a shallow trench, Golden took a pick and began swinging, removing chunks of earth to make way for the base of the sculpture.
"This is exciting," he said, sweat glistening on his brow as he paused in his work. "It's really rewarding. You work for this day as much as any other day."
For Eichenberg, and Brad Golden, working with glass-workers, welders, and foundry workers is as much a part of the artistic process as applying paint to a canvas is for another artist.
"It's a different kind of (artistic) work." said Eichenberg. "Because of the scale of the work, you have to work with industrial processes and industrial methods."
Eichenberg pointed to the giant mobile crane that was donated for the day by Kitchener Crane Service to put the pieces in place. "For example, you don't move it alone in your car. You move it with a crane."
Horse Power, which pays homage to Kitchener's agricultural and industrial heritage, is located in the public gardens at the north entrance of the city hall off Duke Street West. It was selected by a jury in a city-sponsored competition that drew 70 submissions from across the country.
Horse Power has four components. Two concrete benches frame a small square, one inlaid with the word "industria" and the other with the word "prosperitas," which is the city's motto.
At the south end of the site are four 2.5-meter wheels made of steel, symbolizing wagon wheels or steam engine flywheels. The wheels are designed to rust as they weather and eventually vines will grow on them to reflect the seasons.
In the centre is a wind-driven "governor" suggesting an engine's governor or regulator and symbolizing the role of civic government. The top portion of the governor was the only part of the sculpture that was small enough to bring to Kitchener in their car, Eichenberg said.
A the north end, the artists plan a see-through heritage screen, which is a steel frame with glass panels frosted with images of local historic scenes.
Eichenberg and Golden will be on site for the next few days installing the glass panels in the heritage screen. This is also part of the artistic process.
"We like as much as possible to talk to people as the sculpture is assembled on site, as opposed to installing it fully formed," said Golden, as the crane manoeuvred into place.