Downtown is a meeting point for people from all corners of the city. In a cosmopolitan place like Edmonton, the downtown is also a meeting point for people with roots in all corners of the globe. This artwork celebrates this diversity through patterns and motifs representing the regions of the world that together make up contemporary Edmonton.
Every culture, like every language, represents a different way of seeing the world. What we choose to focus on and how we translate that vision into new forms is highly specific. Yet translating the world around us into a decorative form is a near human universal. We all want the items with which we surround and adorn ourselves to speak to who we are. How we choose to help them talk is incredibly diverse. The decorative arts reflect what we value and what we are comforted by. They also show our histories and who we have met – in ways both positive and at times deeply damaging – along the way.
Drawing on census data, this artwork represents the 16 world regions that make up the majority of Edmonton’s population. Each region is represented once, through a pattern or motif common to that area. The exception is Indigenous motifs; in recognition of the original holders of this land, Indigenous images appear on each shelter.
None of these designs can adequately capture the essence or spirit of an entire people or area; they are snapshots of how someone, somewhere, recorded what was meaningful to themselves. Collected from blouses, belts, shoes, blankets, ceramics, bowls, plates, pillows, wallpaper, and other household items, these patterns and motifs represent a narrow glimpse into twenty ways of seeing the world. Held within them are stories of migration, cross-cultural interactions, travel, imperialism, conquest, collaboration, and resilience. They showcase the many places and people that have informed the creation of contemporary Edmonton. Placed at the center of the City, the message is simple: you are here. We are all here: collaborating, teaching, learning from, and inspiring one another.
102 Street LRT Stop
10025 102 Avenue NW, Downtown, Central Core