There’s some great sculpture in downtown Ottawa, but to call it all “lost” might be a bit of an overstatement – so I’m renaming my occasional Lost Artefacts series. Some of the pieces I post will definitely be ones that are installed in hard-to-find spaces, but there’s some great artwork that many of us in Ottawa take for granted; pieces that just kind of blend into the background because we’ve become accustomed to them.
Right outside my workplace, for instance, there’s a piece by Canadian Sculptor Bruce Garner called Joy. Created in 1970, it’s easily one of my favorite things on the Sparks Street Mall. It depicts four stylized nudes dancing around in a circle as they join hands and raise their eyes to the sky.
It’s probably just because of the colour of the bronze, but I always think of them as four young African children in some poor little village, just playing around in the rain without a care in the world. I hear traditional African music in the background.
It’s probably not what the artist intended – close inspection would indicate that at least two of the characters are not intended to be black – but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the sense of movement he has created and the happiness on the characters’ faces as they reach up to the sky.
Simply put, it makes me happy.