Take 5
Sylvie Roussel-Janssens
Elizabeth Roy

Public Art: Concept to Courtyard

February 15 - March 17, 2001

Elizabeth Roy
My work has branched in two directions, an involvement in making public artwork and my ongoing studio practice.

SPAN, my most recent public artwork was commissioned by the City of Richmond for the City Hall. The five free-standing sculptural elements are fabricated from laser cut stainless steel and corten steel. There are two distinct elements: the Bridge and the Apertures. The references in the Bridge’s structures include weather, water, plants, architectural structures, relief maps, and routes yet to be taken. The Apertures are viewing devices; places to locate one’s self to view the City Hall. As the title suggests, SPAN is about bringing us together and bridging, linking small intimate details with the magnitude of geography.

My current studio work, Predicamentia, is concerned with developing images of domestic comfort and collapsing them onto the contemporary realism of urban life. The observer is challenged to consider several characterizations of home against the forceful and insinuating predicaments of life. The work also attempts to use decoration as a way of identifying personality. Individuals use ornament and pattern to create and reinforce the nuances of their identity. Personalizing one’s space enhances a perceived claim to status in society. It is a means of acquiring ownership, whether it is done aesthetically or obsessively.

In my artwork, the familiar evolves into something to be read anew.

Sylvie Roussel-Janssesns, The Wind Project
I live in a part of the Fraser Valley where the wind blows constantly. It has a direct impact on my work. Fabric, photographs on acetate, glass and laser disc fragments came to life in a form that I call wind lanterns. I also looked at the poetic value of the wind. I saw the wind, an exterior movement, as a symbol for an interior one: the essential life force that I choose to call motivation. I looked at the representation of wind in ancient cultures and saw similarities between the characters of the wind gods of the north, south, east and west in different cultures.

Family is also a reference point. Four of eight wind lanterns are placed at the main cardinal points and four generations of women in my family are associated with the geographical positions. The circle represents the strong support of family and friends that exists in my life. My grandmother was born in the south of France in 1912 and represents the south. My mother born in rural Quebec in 1937, represents the north. I was born in 1960 in Montreal and represent the east. My daughter was born in BC and represents the west. The different generations are like beacons that help me to see myself in time and space.

Take 5 
…my intention is not evil, it’s to beautify.

I define vandalism as a blatant disregard for public or private property. But no harm’s being done, as long as you’re motivated not by anger, but by creativity.

Graffiti art demands that you do your art in a public space and that you be creative with that space.

(Take 5 is quoted from Saturday Night, March, 2000)


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Closed on statutory holidays.

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Richmond Cultural Centre
7700 Minoru Gate
Richmond, BC  V6Y 1R8
Canada Line Station: Richmond-Brighouse


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