The City Unseen

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Delta Garden + The City UnseenCaitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett, 2018. Concrete, sandblasting, brass monuments. 25,000 sq ft. Commissioned by Calgary Public Art. West Eau Claire Park, Calgary, Canada.


Delta Garden + The City Unseen is finished, thanks to the work of over 100 Calgarians! This new public artwork is designed for the Bow River pathway in Calgary. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that this piece uses 12,000 brass survey monuments to create a shimmering river of sediment, curling through a delta-shaped garden on the south bank of Calgary’s Peace Bridge.

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The artwork responds to the surrounding park, aptly titled Delta GardenDelta Garden is an architectural space created by O2 Planning + Design combining pathways, benches, and indigenous plants to create a “mixing zone” for people moving between the Calatrava Peace Bridge and downtown Calgary.

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Brass monuments are sprinkled throughout Delta Garden like sediment patterns in a river. Text on the markers was gathered through The Invisible City Survey, a public survey named after Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1972) – one of our favourite books. We asked people two questions: Where are you going? Where do you want to be? 

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Words and phrases from the surveys were engraved into the brass markers, mapping the ‘social coordinates’ of the city.

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Intended to trace desire lines through (and beyond) our city, Delta Garden seeks to illuminate the unseen cities beneath our everyday experience.

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This artwork was commissioned by Calgary Public Art. Special thanks to the amazing teams from Calgary Public Art, the City, Parks, O2 Planning + Design, CANA, Sandblasting & More, our wonderful volunteers, and all the sweet folks who helped make Delta Garden + The City Unseen possible.

The artwork was completed in September 2018, but the Delta Garden itself will take many more years to grow.

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Copyright Statement - Invisible City Survey

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