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Cold Arbour

David Wilson // 1978

Muttart Conservatory

Photo by Doyle C. Marko/DCM Photography

Cold Arbour is a steel sculpture originally created as part of the 1978 Sculpture Symposium for the XI Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, AB. There were two primary objectives of the Symposium: to participate in the cultural context of the Commonwealth Games, and to provide a permanent memento, providing a greater public awareness of sculpture. Six artists from different countries were chosen to participate, resulting in ten works of art.

Steel plates lean together creating an A’ frame configuration, contrasting stark profiles with more modeled, undulating, and intimate areas – coincidentally the piece stands outside the pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory, which is echoed by the leaning sides of the structure. According to the artist, the idea for the form of the piece came from playing with the idea of a tunnel, and the privacy one feels when inside a arch of trees. The piece invites the viewer to move around as they look at the work, further enhancing the tunnel aspect of the sculpture. Wilson was inspired to title the piece Cold Arbour after a road by the same name in England, as for Wilson the space makes him keenly aware of the interplay between interior and exterior space.

Muttart Conservatory