I have always been curious about the artwork at Mosaic Park which is not far from the Adanac bike route. I had seen vague photos of swirly mosaics in the ground and occasional close-ups of certain sections.
It turns out Mosaic Park, was located only a block away from a bike route that I rode several times per week for work commuting or weekend rides for the past 7 years. I did it again, as I noted in an earlier article on outdoor public art: oblivious to the richness of outdoor art in Vancouver.
My only limp excuse is mosaics are not noticeable at all from afar, if they are embedded into the ground. But then, many people walk upon mosaics clueless, while they chatter with someone else or nowadays, are captivated by Internet activity on their iPhone.
Mosaic Park was completed in 1996 under the artistic direction of Glenn Anderson and Kristine German. It was a community art project completed with the help of over 500 (some sources say 300) people from the Britannia community. After the city nixed the residents’ original wish for stream in a new park recreated from a large vacant lot, Mosaic Park artwork was conceived. It really is a metaphoric water stream of multiple mosaic designs.
Individual Mosaic Themes Co-Exist and Unite for a Single Vision
The whole artwork installation can be best appreciated after you have pored over its intricate different themes interwoven and grouted into the park ground. Otherwise to the diffident eye, it looks like a mess of broken tiles. There are over 260 individual mosaic designs which is packing a lot of creativity into a small park space.
When gazing down at the artwork, you are drawn to grasp individual designs or a group of designs for a mini-theme. I found by aiming my camera and just framing over a group, or one mosaic image, it helped me focus and suddenly recognize certain shapes. It was momentary, visual de-cluttering so that one could marvel for a few minutes on a mermaid, frog, fishes (multiple types), whales, images of healing, transformation and community, before shifting the lens to the next mosaic thought. I must have spent half an hour at the park.
We may hold the old masters of mosaics from the Byzantine or Renaissance era in high esteem, but Mosaic Park offers a spirit that is uniquely contemporary yet timeless also. Through its wonderful organically shaped art, this mosaic evokes how to unite multiple perspectives into community consciousness.
City of Vancouver. Cultural Services. Mosaic Creek. In Public Art Registry.