“Would you mind if my wife took your photo?” I was too shy to ask but my husband wasn’t and that’s why I got this photo of some Winnipeg women enjoying a beautiful sunny Easter Sunday afternoon, visiting together.
They laughed and smiled when Dave said I wanted to take their photo and readily agreed.
Dave and I went for a long cycle yesterday that took us to Maples Collegiate. Just behind the school is Adsum Park and a piece of public art called Close Commons. I had read about it and had been wanting to see it.
Artist Gurpreet Sehra who designed and created Close Commons said she wanted it to be a place for dialogue and that is just what it was being used for when I saw it.
The art piece has large oak leaves made from aluminum. Gurpreet chose them because the bur oak is indigenous to Manitoba.
The bottom part of the piece is made from granite and is etched with floral motifs inspired by Islamic and Indian architecture and textiles.
Before she made the piece, Gurpreet took a survey of local residents using the three languages most commonly spoken in the area, English, Punjabi and Tagalog. Many people in the neighbourhood are immigrants from the Philippines or the Punjab area of India.
Gurpreet wanted the artwork to represent Manitoba so she chose the oak leaves and…………..
to represent the diverse immigrant communities in the province she did the granite etching with motifs from other countries and cultures. In Gurpreet’s piece the two come together beautifully.
When Gurpreet did her initial survey some of the women in the neighbourhood told her the wooden benches in the park at the time, were being used predominantly by men and they didn’t feel welcome there. The women wanted a beautiful and functional place where they could meet to talk. And as I saw yesterday that is exactly what they got!