The concept for Line of Work is inspired by the “ripple effect” or more specifically the notion that single elements working together can become more than the sum of their parts. The sculpture is composed of a changing series of individual elements that together create a giant wave-form that reaches out towards the sea. The elements grow in both size and reach along the edge of a pedestrian pathway connecting the Vancouver Convention Centre to the Seawall and forming an increasingly protective enclosure; a concept that carries throughout the project from the overall sculptural form, to materiality and construction, and to the organization of the text within the piece.
Line of Work is composed of a series of stainless steel frames supporting laminated yellow cedar elements that cantilever increasingly in reach and angle outwards from their base. The installation spans over 110′, each element is 20′ tall and varies from 2-8′ in depth. There are 17 elements in total; the 15 in the centre represent 150 years of British Columbia’s provincial history plus one at either end representing BC’s past and future. The wood elements are carved with occupations that follow this rough time line, moving from pre-1850s through to post 2010, reflecting larger scale shifts in the provincial economy: from occupations surrounding natural resource extraction toward processing and manufacturing and finally into service and technology. The piece includes both general and specific occupations, to chart larger cultural shifts and to include meaningful individual examples.
While the conceptual approach provides a framework that reflects some of the core mission of Worksafe, that of protection, inclusion and growth, Line of Work remains open to interpretation at different scales. The overall wave-form can be viewed from a great distance as an integrated dynamic element within the iconic folded green roof of the Convention Centre. Carved text within individual wood elements of the sculpture allow for more intimate interaction and reflection by individuals, drawing people in closer so that they become sheltered and part of the work itself, sparking dialogue about where we have come from and where we are going.
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