What the #@(! is that: Springtime edition.


Twisted Riel

Well spring has sprung here in Winnipeg, Manitoba and that means a few things.  Road work, mosquitoes and public art travesties.   I have come upon a few new ones and a golden oldie that I had been searching for quite a while.

First up is a rather quaint installation only minutes from my home in St Boniface.

Exhibit One:

A piece dedicated to Gabrielle Roy, a St. Boniface teacher and writer.  Gaining acclaim for her novels The Tin Flute and  Alexandre Chenevert for being a motivating factor for Quebec’s Quiet Revolution .

Gabrielle Roy Plaque

This piece speaks for itself in its simplicity and musical nature.

Roy 1

Roy 2

Of all today’s pieces I find this one strangely haunting, almost lyrical.

Exhibit two:

A brand new horror for the eyes going in at Winnipeg’s Millennium Library.  I hate to think what this fresh hell of a monstrosity is going to cost us taxpayers when our roads are crumbling and the other city infrastructures are going to ruin.

I have no idea what it is but let’s call it The Beaker!

The Beaker

This frigging thing has to be at least 40′ tall and when I saw it installed this morning took two cranes to put in.  Plus blocking traffic and causing whiplash in any passing drivers is sure to put neck strain in our tax paying pocket books.

Exhibit Three:

This one is a bonus feature that I caught back hobbling to my jeep, tucked away in a garden in the Millennium Library Garden above street level is something I am sure is adored by the scores of Winnipeg street folk as a handy urinal. I give you what I call Boing Boing.

Boing Boing

This piece has eluded me for some time despite being a frequent patron of the libraries of Winnipeg.  It is hidden from view from the general and driving public by a retaining wall that elevates the garden some many feet above walking and driving level.  The only people that I saw there today enjoying this lovely piece of statuary were passed out on benches in the park.

I doubt most of Winnipeg will even know it exists.

Exhibit Four:

Finally on to some serious art to talk about.

This piece by Evan Eyre, a celebrated Canadian artist looks in place at the corner of Portage and Main in Winnipeg.

This stark image of a man and dog looking north is iconic to all of what Winnipeg stands for.   Looking north toward winter, toward weather, or toward danger.  North is where our howling winds come from, death for the unwary.

North Watch by Evan Eyre

North Watch by Evan Eyre

Finally I give you a piece that I have been hunting searching for a long time.

Exhibit Five:

This tortured and troubled sculpture of the founder of the Province of Manitoba Louis Riel has been moved from place to place over the years.  He currently resides at Université de Saint-Boniface.

The Riel Enclosure

Louis Riel Statuary Head and Shoulders

Riel Statuary Full Body

Riel Statuary Plaque

Do I understand art? No, but as many have said over the years I know what I like.  The last two I understand at least, monuments to men and the human condition.  The rest, I just don’t get.  Call me small minded or at least small government.

But at least we can all say What the HELL is That??

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9 responses to “What the #@(! is that: Springtime edition.

  1. I don’t mind the beaker

    • I have no idea what it’s supposed to be but that’s kinda what it looks like.
      Glad you enjoyed Nurse Myra keep up the good work in your end of the world. Happy Mothers day!!

  2. Hey, send some spring over here!! It is sorely needed amongst the rain and winds. Cool pics 🙂

    • Thanks Ivy! Wishing you a beaker full of sunshine and warm spring breezes! May the sun shine lovingly upon your shoulders!

  3. The Beaker and Boing Boing there is so not my cup of tea while North Watch and the Riel statue are both brilliant… nice art Spring watch from you…

    • I just keep coming across all of these things around the city in my travels. I can’t say that I understand them all either.

  4. Really enjoy your posts on getting us into Winnipeg, Bob! Even if I like some of it less than others, I think public installments of art are fab! Thanks!

  5. I used to visit Winnipeg a fair amount when I was a kid growing up in North Dakota. I don’t remember much, but I remember always have a good time. That and an Old Spaghetti Factory that had the best apple crisp I’ve ever tasted. Is that still there?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate it!

    • Yes The Old Spaghetti factory is still around but it’s probably moved since you were here last. It’s at The Forks Market now and the food is still very yummy!!

      You must try to get back to Winnipeg some day and don’t be afraid to say Hi to me when you’re here.