Pedestrians and motorists will encounter a striking new sculptural art piece the next time they’re at the corner of Water Street and Cawston Avenue in downtown Kelowna. The sculpture is a project that the Kelowna Art Gallery has been working on for the past three years and has kept under wraps until now.
“We’re thrilled to be able to share Gold, Silver & Lead with the community,” said Nataley Nagy, Executive Director at the Gallery. “Our hopes are that it will become a landmark within the downtown public space and will stimulate a lively conversation about visual art in the community.”
Gold, Silver & Lead was acquired as a gift to the Kelowna Art Gallery’s permanent collection in 2019 and has now been installed outside of the Gallery.
The 25-foot-tall sculpture features seven abstracted car bodies that are stacked vertically, rising in a minimalist form. The cars, crafted from epoxy coated steel plate, appear to deteriorate and disassemble as they climb upward, becoming nearly unrecognizable by the time they reach their highest point.
The artist behind the sculpture is Jed Lind (Canadian, 1978-) whose work has been exhibited extensively throughout North America. Gold, Silver, & Lead was originally presented at the Toronto Sculpture Garden 30th Anniversary exhibition, in 2011.
“I have always been drawn to installations and large-scale sculptures for how they engage and immediately confront the viewer,” said Jed Lind. “The thing I love about public art is the variety or perspectives that come to an artwork, which is very different than showing in a gallery or museum. Ultimately, I am not concerned with the takeaway of the piece, but that it causes pause, reflection, or even confrontation.”
Viewers may recognize the car frame Lind has reproduced in the monument. It is based on the body of the iconic 1979 Honda Civic and captures the spirit of its original design as a modern, yet humble, car of the future. The Civic was designed as a response to the oil crises of the 1970s when much of North America was forced to ration available gasoline. At that time (of really big cars and their high consumption V8 engines) the fuel-efficient Civic was seen as a hopeful way forward.
Lind sees the piece posing questions about obsolescence minimalism and salvaging. “Like a stack of stones marking a trail, it represents a fork in the road where humanity could have chosen a simpler existence… yet here we are today.”
The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water Street, in the heart of downtown Kelowna.