A few weeks ago, I checked out the new “Wonderland” sculpture in front of Encana’s new Bow building in Calgary. The giant head of a young girl is the latest creation by Barcelona-based designer Jaume Plensa.
Many downtown buildings have sculptures or other artwork at their entrances, though this one is particularly striking. It is also somewhat interactive, allowing visitors to actually go inside the head, which the artist says allows the visitors to “dream about how the head is from the inside”.
“I am honoured to create this beautiful artwork for THE BOW and for Calgary,” Jaume Plensa says. “My vision for Wonderland is to inspire everyone who experiences the sculpture: I believe the architecture of our bodies is the palace for our dreams.”
The view from inside is quite unique. According to Encana, “the artwork was commissioned after a public art selection jury made up of local and international representatives from the art community chose Mr. Plensa to design a significant visual legacy for the plaza.”
I believe they will indeed accomplish their goal. While some locals seem to scoff at all artistic endeavours in the city, this installation will become a landmark over time with all photos of it becoming instantly recognizable and associable with Calgary.
It was difficult to have time alone with the sculpture with many other visitors braving the cold Calgary winter to take photos or see the view from inside.
A second sculpture in bronze will be installed in the future, and will be titled Alberta’s Dream.