96. Wall Art (1967)

Wall Art

The Geological Survey of Canada’s Calgary office traces its origins back to the 1920s. In the 1950s, it grew in step with the expansion of the petroleum industry. By 1967, the then-called Institute of Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology moved into its specially built headquarters adjoining the University of Calgary campus.

The building’s design focused on the use of local materials. For example, the exterior concrete panels have exposed local cobble-sized glacial aggregate, the lobby flagstone floors are Triassic-age limestone known as Rundle Stone from west of Calgary, and the white dolostone in the lobby balustrade is from near Creston, British Columbia.

The massive wall sculpture, CANADA 1967, is a cast concrete interpretation of the geology of Canada. It was created by local sculptor Katie Ohe, who is recognized for her pioneering influence on art in Alberta, and who with her artist husband Harry Kiyooka, founded the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre in Springbank, just outside of Calgary

The 69 square metre sculpture is a symbolic representation of the geological map of Canada. Ribbon-like elements evoke the main structural components of Canada’s geology. Circular elements, which represent drill cores, bear the imprint of fossils from these areas.

Category: Buildings and Places

Decade: 1960s

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