March 9 2012
Having realized I had lost my sunglasses when visiting the Snow Village on Wednesday, plus the weather was great, I decided to head over to Parc Jeanne-Drapeau this morning.
Following the bad (yet expected) news that no sun glasses had been handed in, I decided to go photograph a couple of the sculptures that still remain from the 1967 Montreal World Trade Fair.
First up is the 9.5 meter high Le Phare du Cosmos sculpture by Quebec artist Yves Trudeau. The head was originally motorized and turned, but unfortunately is no longer functioning, although I did hear the mechanics are still in situ, so maybe one day we will see it again in all its glory.
One of the most well know sculptures on the island is the sculpture by Alexander Calder (1898 -1976) called “Man”. Originally entitled Three Disks, Calder changed the name to Man in order to compliment the theme of the exposition – “Man and His World”.
Calder was commissioned by The International Nickel Company of Canada in August of 1966 to create the piece for the fair. The Biemont Foundry in Tours, France, manufactured the sculpture by scaling-up Calder’s macquette. The sculpture had to be sandblasted on its arrival in Montreal due to salt water having stained the metal during the ocean voyage from France – Hence the matte finish.
The structure measures 24 meters in height and was moved to its current location in 1991.
Another art piece on the Island, but not connected to Expo 67, is the bright red sculpture called Puerta de la Amistad by the Mexican sculptor Sebastian. This sculpture was a gift from Mexico for the 350th anniversary of Montreal’s founding. Sebastián, one of Mexico’s most prolific sculptors, created this “friendship gate” in 1993 to represent exchange, passage, and opening.
Close to the ferry boat pier stands 5 white-granite pillars. Called the Imaginary Village, it was created by Portuguese artist João Charters de Almeida. Installed in September 1997, the sculpture was a gift from the Metropolitano de Lisboa to the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and subsequently to the City of Montreal. The work commemorates the 30th anniversary of Montreal’s Metro subway system – and Expo 67. The sculpture is a reflection on how humans create mythical spaces, both out of necessity and in response to challenges.
With easy access to downtown Montreal by public transport, road or bike, Saint Helen’s Island is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It can get busy at the weekends, but this morning it seemed like I had pretty much the island to myself.
To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.