Fern Facade

Permanent glass frit mural installed at Newton Recreation Centre, Surrey, BC, 2017.

text from onsite attribution plaque:

“Alward’s design is based on the athyrium felix-femina, or common lady fern, which he says is “subtly persistent feature in the neighborhood of Newton, a place that has been thoroughly urbanized over the past few decades”. One frond spans the windows, with one or more leaflets inside each pane of glass. Alward says, “The sequence of image on the glass panels emulates both the general structure of a fern frond and the fragmented time sequencing of motion picture film.” A closer look at the glass reveals that the design is made from thousands of dots, which mimic the round spores found on the underside of fern leaves—the plant’s hearty reproductive system. Spores convey the genetic pattern of the fern across time, in a way analagous to how the dots in the mural convey the pattern of its structure. Ferns have been thriving in the Newton area since the emergence of rain forests sometime after the last ice age, and their legacy stretches back millions of years.”

New Westminster Glass Mural

Permanent installation at New Westminster Skytrain station, New Westminster, BC.
 
text from onsite attribution plaque:
 
“The mural design is composed of two main elements: black and white archival photographs of early New Westminster and overlays of brightly coloured shapes. The photos are of local flora and fauna, associated human industry, and city infrastructure. Their interaction embodies the transformation of “nature” into “resources,” and the role these resources have played in the development of an economy, political power, and culture in New Westminster. Combined with the coloured shapes, the photographic elements represent a kind of stream of consciousness, with forms flowing into one another, each thing echoing or morphing into something else. This is analogous to the way various forces transform an environment and its inhabitants into a city. These transforming agents are sometimes easy to see and sometimes they are invisible.”