Transparent Passage was commissioned by the City of Ottawa for the Lees station Light Rail located in Old Ottawa East. This integrated public artwork is comprised of a 90-meter printed glass platform, printed canopy glazing and 21 metal sculptures depicting birds in flight. This piece utilizes stylized natural elements to create a lyrical narrative and a sense of motion.
We begin this narrative with the Rideau River, its current carving and winding its way through the landscape. Animals created paths alongside the river, then groups of humans followed, hunting and gathering, then building and industrializing. Invisible trails are marked in the sky by birds, while history is quietly recorded through more tangible signs, such as the oxidization of metal and the rings expanding within the trunk of a tree. These traces form a compendium, but instead of following a linear narrative, a more natural, dynamic tale of the area is told, where the layers of history and meaning both overlap and are built one on top of another.
By using symbols from various time periods pertinent to the area, along with a natural colour palette that represents the passing of time, Transparent Passage captures both the tangible and intangible layers of history and gives a simultaneous sense of our place within this journey.