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Installation Indigenous artist

Tawatinâ Bridge

David Garneau // 2021

Acrylic on Dibond
Tawatinâ Bridge

A wide view of a walking bridge with paintings on the underside of the bridge. The paintings depict a series of birds flying towards the end of the bridge. The river valley trees can be seen in the background, it is autumn.
Tawatina Bridge by David Garneau, photos by Cole Crane

The Tawatinâ bridge shared-use pathway features over 500 paintings of the River Valley’s flora and fauna, and the First Nations, Métis, and settler histories of the area. Bridging the city, the art works show the intertwined lives of the people and the non-human beings who live and travel through here. The artist’s meetings with First Nations Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and Métis citizens, and numerous visits to the Valley since childhood, are the backbone of these paintings. David Garneau, along with a team of First Nations, Métis, Black, Asian, and artists of European ancestry, captured Edmonton’s four seasons and complex histories.

The huge expanse and collage-like format allowed the artist to combine a variety of images that would not suit a conventional mural. Garneau explains that each picture is a prompt to story-telling: There are well-known histories, lesser-known family tales, sacred stories, hidden messages, and provocative combinations. The images are for everyone but the stories belong to those who know, keep, and share them. I have heard the stories but will not write them down. They are not mine to share. I hope their keepers will visit here, share their stories, and make these paintings live.”

Supporting artists: Cassandra Garneau, Madhu Kumar, Mackenzie Grad, B Garneau, Ziemann I, David Zhang, Mathew Lapierre, Sadie George, Carmen Beaton, Sarah Timewell, Jesse Goddard, Evan Obey, Anthony C, Larissa Kitchemonia, Sylvia Ziemann, AJA Louden, Wade Stamp, Matthew Cardinal, Trevor Peters.

This song was created by local sound artist Matthew Cardinal to enhance the experience of crossing Tawatinâ Bridge. Stream the sound art on location as you pass from one side of the bridge to the other, taking in the art, the flora and fauna of the river valley and the surrounding neighbourhoods. 

Tawatinâ Bridge

valley line - holyrood to 102 st