Public Art Installation Removed

Escaped the office for an hour this beautiful summer afternoon to go for a walk. Passing the Cenotaph in Victoria Park on my way back downtown after a stroll along the north shore of Wascana Lake, I was surprised to find that the old dead tree to the southeast of the memorial that had been home to Kim Morgan’s public art project Antsee (pictured) since 2002 had been cut down.

I’m not sure when it happened, although when I’d been in the park on Wednesday afternoon it was still up, so it must have been in the last few days. When Kim installed the piece, I know she went to great pains to secure the ants, placing them high in the tree with the aid of a ladder and actually bolting them into the wood. But over the years a sufficient number of the ants had gone missing that the impact of the sculpture, which was brilliant in its evocation of decay and renewal and the parallels that exist between ants and humans as social animals, had certainly diminished.

When the tree was cut down, there couldn’t have been more than one or two ants remaining. Still, when I was sitting out on Wednesday, I observed several children who were passing through the park with their parents stop to admire and comment on them.

Public sculpture in Regina is very much hit and miss, with there generally being more misses than hits. Antsee was definitely a hit and I, for one, will miss it.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

4 thoughts on “Public Art Installation Removed”

  1. Ah, but there’s still the avant-garde, thought-provoking, sublime sculpture installation in front of City Hall at least?

  2. Was out walking for a bit tonight and noticed a bunch of white suds in the SaskPower Water Fountain. So it’s either being cleaned, or someone’s played a practical joke with possibly harmful environmental consequences.

  3. I can’t believe there were only a few ants left. Can this be correct? I remember installing it high up, and bolting it into the tree. I think the brittleness of the wood has helped to facilitate an easy grab.

    I believe that the remaining ants will be moved to another location in the park.

    Nothing like public art to stimulate art collecting – of some kind or another!

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