Volume 93, Issue 35

Tuesday, November 2, 1999


New study aims to put doctors online

Journals to boost subscriptions

Guelph U's land plans anger students

Sculpture to be displayed on hill

2001 Census to include questions on sexuality

Theft and crank call-filled week


Buzz Mecca

Sculpture to be displayed on hill

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

Students wondering about the concrete foundation plopped in the middle of University College hill will see Western's newest work of artwithin the next month.

Catherine Elliot Shaw, curator at Western's McIntosh Gallery, said a sculpture is well on its way to campus as a permanent resident. "It's a work that's going to celebrate the millennium and the celebrations of the Canada 2001 Summer Games," she said.

The sculpture, entitled the Sky Observation Platform, will sit on the cement, said Doug Mitchell, a visual arts sculpture workshop technician at Western and artist of the piece. Mitchell explained the piece is a metal structure with two arches, each standing 24 feet wide and 12 feet high.

"The first arch runs from North to South and sits vertically on what will eventually be a circle. Then there is a second arch that runs East to West along the line of the celestial equator, which is the path the sun travels at the time of the equinox," Mitchell said.

He explained in the centre of the ring will be a grass map of southern Ontario where a copper pole, located where Western is on the map, will reach up towards the sky.

Mitchell said someone looking at the axis of the copper pole will be able to view the North Star. "So it connects the immediate location with the night sky, being the galaxy and the universe."

Overall, Mitchell said the sculpture is located in an excellent viewing place. "There are a few places on campus that have a clear view of the sky and UC hill is one of them."

Elliot Shaw said seats will be set around the sculpture in hopes it will serve as a meeting place. McIntosh Gallery and the Canada Council for the Arts will help pay for the setting, she added.

The council provides an annual grant to Western's McIntosh Gallery of $35,000, said Doug Sigurdson, visual arts officer for the CCA. This money, he said, covers the cost of campus works of art. The CCA encourages public displays of art work such as the Sky Observation Platform, Sigurdson said. "The general feeling is to reach the public in any way we can."

Dave Riddell, senior director of the physical plant at Western, said thus far, only the foundation has been completed.

"My involvement is to ensure the sculpture is safe from a structural standpoint. We hope to have it finished within the next month or so."

Ted Garrard, VP-external at Western, said a motion approving the sculpture recently passed without difficulty by both the university Senate and the Board of Governors. Garrard said improving the aesthetic appearance of campus was one reason why administration applauded the piece.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999