Make West

The site of this artwork located in Coal Harbour, Vancouver, carries a highly charged condition of multiple histories. Some of these histories are official — it was the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway for Western Canada. Other histories are more subtle, simmering and elusive. “Make West” poses the question, “what if you threw a vase of history from the 27th floor of a new condominium tower and it shattered into countless pieces?” What would remain, be confused, or rearranged?

“Make West” consists of 6,000 square feet of slate and 120 cast bronze shards covering three plazas at the foot of a luxury condominium complex in Coal Harbour. The pieces explore the deployment of technology and measurement in the construction of Western Canada. They also flirt with themes such as the displacement of flora and fauna in the wake of progress, and the nature of how nature is taught. Part history, part mystery, the piece contains encoded fragments of several stories with playful clues. The narrator of the piece, Dr. Elizabeth J. Leclip, asks the question, “what systems, both major and minor are complicit in this symphony of locus-motion?” This is just the first in a series of quixotic musings. Hint: try rearranging the letters of “Beth Leclip”.

The sites are lit at night by spots placed underneath a few lifted shards giving the project an eerie archeological glow.

“Make West” was produced with the help of Nicolas Osenton who contributed greatly to the conceptual and technical content of the work.

Make West
Vancouver, BC, Canada
ASPAC Developments Ltd.
Studio Team
Bill Pechet, Nicolas Osenton, Jill Anholt
Ornamental Bronze Ltd.
Bill Pechet