“A False Creek” entails the application of paint to the pilings under the Cambie Bridge and fifteen lampposts along the adjacent seawall bounded by Cooper’s Park. The painted chromatic blue stripes, rising from dark to light blue, indicate a rise in sea level to five metres above Canada Mean Sea Level, the marker used as the basis for the surveying the City of Vancouver. A five metre rise in sea level would be the result of the partial melting of the major ice sheets on earth, including the West Antarctic and Greenland, due to a sustained increase in average global temperatures of three degrees. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects sea level rising between four and six metres in the event of a partial melting of the earth’s major ice sheets. This change would take place over hundreds of years.
Using minimal materials, the artwork graphically highlights an area of the city that offers a pointed comparison between past and future. In the early twentieth century, False Creek extended as far as Clark Drive. The project highlights the nature of the city’s relationship to its natural setting, and the limits and possibilities of engineering the space of the city.
This art project was originally inspired by a Google Earth map of Vancouver which was released by the British Columbia branch of the Sierra Club in 2006. A geologist was consulted and a survey made to ensure the levels are correct and consistent. A website also provides graphic detail of the changing shoreline: www.AFalseCreek.ca
Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky are Vancouver-based artists who have worked collaboratively since 2004. Both received their MFA degrees from the University of British Columbia in 1996. Exhibitions include Material World (Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax) and Nuit Blanche (Toronto) in 2012, It Is What It Is (National Gallery of Canada, 2010) and in 2009: Nothing to Declare: Recent Sculpture from Canada (The Power Plant, Toronto), Dos de Mayo (Madrid), How Soon is Now (Vancouver Art Gallery), Cubes, Blocks and Other Spaces (Musée d’art Contemporain de Montreal). Their work is represented in public collections including the National Gallery of Canada. Temporary public artworks include The Searchers (Kelowna Art Gallery, 2010) and Window Graphics (Contemporary Art Gallery, 2006).
Commissioned by the City of Vancouver as part of Changing Times, a series of artists’ projects that reflect the past, present and future of the City.