“Twist 1.5” from 1978 is not particularly awe-inspiring from afar. But take a loser look.

Located in a fairly significant park (Major’s Hill Park) – sandwiched between the National Gallery, the US Embassy, the Chateau Laurier, and Parliament Hill – you can hardly call this piece of public artwork “hidden.” Then again, until yesterday, I for one had never given more than a cursory glance to this “wooden, spiral, wind-vane thing” (the words of the artists, Alex Wyse and Ken Guild. Not mine).

And you have no idea how much I love that the artists didn’t give it some pretentious title but rather called it what it is.

In the details, I see entire landscapes. Really beautiful.

I went out with my camera at lunch yesterday and as I approached, I realized I had no real opinion about the sculpture. I thought “it looks a bit dated – like some industrial design done in the ’70s” but otherwise, it didn’t speak to me. Then I got closer and started to look through my lens at it – and I was absolutely floored by the repeated patterns and the converging lines. Every step I took around this sculpture gave me a new and interesting view.

The nearby plaque says the sculpture “mirrors the spiral motif common in nature” – and I can see that. Looking at details of the work I was particularly reminded of photos I had seen of The Wave rock formation on the Arizona/Utah border.

I went from not really caring to being a huge fan of this sculpture – and all because I stopped for a few minutes to take it in. I need to do that more often.

It feels like I’m looking at a giant conch shell.

Such a fun object to photograph. Repeated patters, angles, converging lines, spirals – these are all things they teach you to watch for when you start learning basic photography.

The nuts and bolts give it a mechanical feel – which is kind of contrary to nature. Wonder if that was done on purpose.


2 responses »

  1. This sculpture is tied to my childhood in some way. I can remember playing around it in the presence of my grandparents.

    I love the photos you got of it, showing all the details and angles. It really conveys how much the sculpture intrigued you.

    (P.S. I tried to comment from my phone but it didn’t seem to work…delete it if I end up with two comments on here)

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