One-way Ticket, 2011, Marjan Eggermont, Silver leaf on gun-blue etched steel. 48′ x 16′ (15 panels, each 4’x 8′).Located in the Energy Environment Experiential Learning Building, University of Calgary.
At the heart of the University of Calgary’s Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) building is an impressive and grand staircase. The architects and designers, Busby Perkins+Will (Canada) in partnership with Dialog, won awards for the building’s environmentally friendly design. The airy, light-filled atrium provides a shared social space for learning. People are encouraged to use the stairs, but also to rest, meet and study on the seven terraces.
Marjan Eggermont‘s artwork complements the ambience with its thoughtful use of materials, imagery and underlying theme. Silver half-tone graphics of slender trees gleam on dark plates of steel and introduce ideas of nature into the interior. The 12 metal plates that clad the tall elevator shaft accentuate the soaring space, and those that extend in a tab at the base neatly fold the image of a landscape around the corner.
The vaguely familiar, spindly poplars are enlargements from the Dutch Golden Age painting The Avenue at Middelharnis (1689) by Meindert Hobbema, a painting well known for its use of one-point perspective. Inserting perspective in this space is visually clever from many angles, and mixing art with math in a building that houses labs and classrooms for science and engineering is fitting. The title, One-way Ticket, underscores the larger idea that a beckoning road, like a program of education, holds promise.
The artwork is a legacy gift jointly financed by the U of C Alumni Association, the Students Union and the graduating class of 2010. Eggermont is represented in Calgary by Herringer Kiss Gallery.
Eggermont considers her immigration to Canada from Holland at the age of 18 to be one journey that changed her life, and the path of education to be another. She is currently a senior instructor and associate dean in the Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, and the co-founder, designer and publisher of the visually stunning digital journal Zygote Quarterly.