The Connecting Histories artwork consists of 5 sculptures installed on Calgary Park’s land and an interactive web page with an augmented reality component activated at site locations.
The first stage included a series of community events, such as a community walk to select sites with the participating members, a workshop to select relevant and important stories and visual records of Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood history and a drawing workshop where seniors and youth came together to share their stories of life in the community. Based on the collected information the sculptures were created and the virtual reality component of the artwork is being developed to be completed in June 2020.
Since September 2019, during the second stage, five cast sculptures were installed on five sites selected by the community. See the map for details. Currently, the George Moss Park sculpture is missing and there is a process underway to replace the missing sculpture. Following this incident, a change in the 5th sculpture location is being considered.
The five sculptures have an equivalent shape, size, volume, and material with linear dimensions 60 cm (height) x 50 cm x 55 cm. The form of the sculpture consists of references to community landscape and history identified as significant during interaction with community members. Based on the references the community identified in the three workshops, the sculptures’ forms consist of a trout head, bison mouth, a wagon wheel, and a locomotive wheel partially overlaid with a low map relief. Also, the top wheel shape is engraved with a web page address https://ogden.fun to follow for AR experience.
These forms combine into a visual metaphor of the Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood history, where the local trout and bison refer to the wilderness the new settlers discovered at the beginnings of the Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood development. Older community members reminisced of fishing and pastures abundant in the area in the 1950s. Stacking over the wildlife forms, a wagon wheel, and a locomotive wheel metaphorically build the community over the foundation of the local landscape. Specifically, the participating members mentioned the impact of the locomotive shops shaped the development of the Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood architecture, people’s family ties, and community relationships. And the wagon wheel reminds us that the beginnings of community development required tremendous effort and labor of the Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood people in the times when construction underwent with the help of horses and buggies (further described in the Ogden Whistle book). Lastly, topping the locomotive wheel, a community map identifies the etched locations of the five sites to direct the visitors to each location, and the website address on the edges of the wheel leads the visitors to the interactive augmented reality experience accessible on a mobile device with Internet access.
With these sculptures installed, the work on the interactive website is underway. It will showcase the places and people identified by the community members as vital parts of the Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood history. Viewing of the virtual historical scenes will activate on the location of each site closest to the historical location (identified with the help of locals based on their memory and archived information). For example, the historical 3D model of Wilson home will be discoverable at the grassy triangle of 66 Ave SE and Bow River Pathway. The work will be available for public viewing during the park’s operating hours.