Gwen Boyle

Gwen Boyle
New Currents and Ancient Streams
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1996

A Canadian installation artist and sculptor whose work focuses on the geological and social history of site, and the unseen forces that shape a public landscape.

  • Born in Vancouver, British Columbia 
  • Education – Honours in Sculpture at the Emily Carr Art College
  • Specializes in Sculptor and Installation Art
  • No dealer

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Time is symbolized by an “erratic” – a 9 ton pillow basalt rock that is magma, formed by the sea, and it’s mirror image or “doppelganger” formed and caste from 3000 lbs of bronze, rest below the fall to look back to time transformed.

Vancouver artist Gwen Boyle’s work, New Currents and Ancient Streams, centres on a waterfall feature set into the base of the Palisades tower complex, with an assemblage of elements incorporating black slate and two large boulders, one of pillow basalt and another in bronze made in mimicry of the first. According to a text incorporated into sculpture, Boyle’s theme loosely and metaphorically marks the site of a salmon stream, one of many that once flowed through Vancouver area, and the water and rock forms are crafted to suggest geology underneath the pavement, or a landscape that predated the city’s development.

The title of the work hearkens back to an imagined past while suggesting the tides of civic development are one of many overlaying strata. Boyle’s elegant work treads a path common for public artistry in North American urban environments by suggesting buried or forgotten histories on or near the place they are located. Here, the marriage of artist concept and building form is untroubled and complimentary, and while suggesting a loss (salmon stream), nonetheless advances a harmonious relationship between art and the building’s larger design concepts.