A new glass mosaic artwork installed on the side of the Port Kells Community Hall building is subject of a talk with the artist who created it.
Bruce Walther’s “Weave of Time” art plays off the neighbourhood’s name and depicts the natural and human heritage of Port Kells with imagery super-imposed on a patterned background.
Walther is a professional artist who has completed numerous glass and mosaic public art commissions for various municipalities throughout the Lower Mainland and as far away as Winnipeg.
He’ll give an hour-long talk about “Weave of Time” at the hall on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 7 to 8 p.m., at 18918 88th Ave. Admission is free.
His work is among the latest unveiled as part of the City of Surrey’s Public Art Program.
“The intricate knot-patterned background was inspired by research on the Kells Brothers, the first settlers to the neighbourhood, and recalls imagery from The Book of Kells, a renowned medieval illuminated manuscript,” program operators say in a press release. “The artwork celebrates activities common to the area, past or present: logging, agriculture, horse riding, fishing, and transportation.”
On the left side, the artwork shows the area’s logging history through imagery of the saw blade and “Old Curly” logging train that used to work the railway along Harvey Road in the 1890s. On the right side, the design honours agricultural history with the inclusion of a salmon berry, which is indigenous to the neighbourhood, and horse riding, which is still practiced in parts of the neighbourhood.
In the centre, the artist included a Coho salmon and paddle wheeler “to represent past activities along the Fraser River, such as fishing and transportation that contributed to the flourishment of Port Kells as a community.”
Walther trained at Langara College and what is now known as the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Recent projects include three sidewalk mosaics representing the history and culture of the City of New Westminster. He also created a glass rainwater feature mosaic at the entrance to the Queensborough Community Centre. When not working on art projects, Bruce supports himself as a tile setter and as a marine glazer.
Surrey’s Public Art Program was established in 1998 “to transform the city’s landscape and its residents who live, work, and play in it. Public art has the power to grab our attention, make us stop, think, ask questions, consider a new perspective, and spark conversations.”
Walther’s “Weave of Time” is new among the 80-plus artworks in Surrey’s growing collection are mosaics, paintings and interactive sculptures.