As I worked on this month’s profile of sculptor Roy Leadbeater, I travelled through Edmonton and the surrounding area so I could look at his work, up close.
In a lot of cases, these were sculptures I’d seen before, but I hadn’t really stopped to have a good look. There are sculptures that are fairly easy to locate in the downtown core. And, then there’s “Children Having Fun,” which is found in a park in Cardiff, about a half-hour drive north of city, depending on how badly traffic ties you up in St. Albert.
At the top of this post, you’ll find “Ocean Moon,” located on the patio of the Marriott Courtyard hotel in downtown Edmonton. Walk past the lobby into the restaurant, and you’ll find the D-shaped sculpture on the patio, complementing the view of the river valley.
Next, head to the Citadel Theatre’s Lee Pavilion and you’ll find “Genesis.” Originally designed to be a work that imagined what the surface of the moon would look like, Leadbeater adapted it by splitting it in two and then rethinking the work as a representation of the Big Bang.
In north Edmonton, in the centre court of St. Michael’s Cemetery, you’ll find the ornate cross that memorializes Ukrainians who died in the Second World War. The piece is nearly 40 years old.
Then, up to Cardiff; the Cardiff Echoes subdivisions rings a park; and that’s where you’ll find “Children Having Fun,” which memorializes Leigh Kilarski, a child who was killed in a traffic accident 20 years ago. The statue needs a little TLC, as the concrete pads have settled and cracked.
And, a little history lesson: His “Fantasy Chariot” (photo from Flickr commons, Simon Wong) used to lord over shoppers at West Edmonton Mall. The mall still has the work in storage, and the long-term plan is to display it once again at one of the properties owned by the mall developer.
“Aurora’s Dance” used to stretch alongside 104th Street, but is now in storage, and needs some restoration work. But the Downtown Business Association is hopeful the piece will once again find a home somewhere in the city’s core.