August 2010

If you have been near Prince’s Island Park or Eau Claire Market in the past few days, you may have noticed some large floating spheres in the water. I went on Saturday night for what I thought would be a quick look. I ended up losing track of time as I reverently watched the translucent orbs. I was mesmerized by the glowing colours and how serene the setting was. I felt like I could have spent hours just sitting and watching. My meditative trance was only broken by two very tired children and the start of the Chinatown celebration fireworks. I had to tug my husbands arm to go as he was equally transfixed by the art.

The spheres are a large-scale art installation presented by UK-based light artists, Creatmosphere. The orbs are an artistic representation of the relationship between the Bow River and it sources: rainwater, groundwater, glacier and snowmelt.

There are three parts to the art display:

Part 1: Daylight spheres between Prince’s Island Park and Edworthy Park

From Aug. 15 – 21, 2010 colour-coded daylight spheres will be dotted around river islands between Edworthy Park and Prince’s Island Park. The spheres represent the Bow River’s four water sources: rainwater, groundwater, glacier and snowmelt. They will be placed by the small islands to emphasize the river’s infrastructure, as these islands are formed by the flow of the river.

Part 2: Data Spheres on the Prince’s Island Lagoon

During Aug. 15 – 21, 2010 data spheres will reside on the water at Prince’s Island lagoon, and will become illuminated each evening at dusk. The installation makes use of light, motion and colour to communicate information about the river, flow, quality, water cycle and demand.

Creatmosphere feeds data to each of the individually-addressed spheres, and in turn different light patterns are created, depending on the data they are receiving. These lit spheres create a matrix of light that remind us of the intricacies of the Bow River’s lifecycle and our demands on it.

Part 3: River of Light live event: Saturday Aug. 21, 2010 at dusk

500 spheres will be released into the river at Edworthy Park and will float down river to Prince’s Island, where they will be diverted into the lagoon and collected by viewers, volunteers, and staff as a keepsake… to continue their story on land. This beautiful project celebrates the Bow River as our life source and as our communal gathering place for people living and visiting in Calgary.