Tamanawis Secondary interior design instructor Donna Yakubowski invited the artist team to work with her students in developing messages for the Talking Poles. In this clip, Tamanawis students perform a poem they wrote themselves about unconditional love.
Talking Poles are two public artworks that give local community members a voice and creative expression. Located on the Serpentine Greenway near the north and south intersections of 68th Avenue, the poles are positioned to greet people, giving them occasion to pause and reflect.
Words, symbols and images from the community’s diverse cultures form the design pattern on the exterior of the poles and emphasize the messages of love and peace. An audio composition at the south pole site conveys natural and musical sounds and the words of area residents. They express universal concepts of compassion: love, peace and respect for nature and the environment. To experience the recording at the south pole, step to the edge of the garden to activate the sound sensor.
Audio and visual recordings, made during community workshops and drumming sessions, demonstrate the collaborative community process and can be experienced on the City of Surrey’s web site.
Artists Lorna Boschman, Victoria Moulder, and T’Uy’Tanat-Cease Wyss have each worked with communities creating public art projects. Their practice supports both collective and individual expression and seeks to encourage community interaction. Graphics for the poles were created by Akash Murgai; sound mixing by Take5; fabrication by ie creative; and electronics by Bobbi Kozinuk.
Talking Poles is one of six site-specific public art projects produced under Surrey’s 2008 Cultural Capital of Canada initiative and supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage and the City of Surrey.