CF Rideau Centre Showcases Time’s Shadow on New Expansion Façade
This August, CF Rideau Centre will complete the final phase of its $360 million, three-year redevelopment project. The revitalization features interior and exterior architectural updates highlighted by Time’s Shadow, a stunning glass triptych by artist Catherine Widgery that beautifully represents the changing of the seasons.
About the Artist
After living in Montreal for 20 years, Catherine now resides in Boston, MA. Her inspiration for the commissioned artwork is drawn from the cycles of the seasons and of light and darkness, which are potent forces in Canada. She has built her career around making public art with the belief that giving viewers something unexpected helps awaken them to their surroundings.
“I’m honoured to partner with CF Rideau Centre for its redevelopment efforts by creating a visually intriguing installation to capture the attention of visitors passing the iconic shopping centre,” said Catherine Widgery. “I was hoping to create art that reflects Canada’s natural beauty to enhance the façade as one of many unique elements that add to the memorable experience offered by the shopping centre.”
Time’s Shadow is designed to be both familiar and mysterious, challenging the viewer to look more carefully to understand what they are seeing and to enter into the visual and emotional experience of the art. This one-of-a-kind artwork beautifully represents that changing of the seasons: the long, dark winter; the reprieve of spring; ecstatic summers of bright light; and the heartbreaking beauty of fall as the cold descends. The cycle of seasons in the landscape are woven together with images of sky from dawn to sunset as metaphors for the arc of our lives. As the viewer moves, the etched image reveals and then obscures the complex images behind it adding to the interactive nature of the artwork for the viewer.
Time’s Shadow consists of three seasonally inspired art panels displayed along the exterior façade of CF Rideau Centre including the Spring/Summer Panel along Nicholas Street and the Summer/Fall and Winter Panels on Rideau Street. The collection, which took many months to complete, totals l 11,000 square feet in area and consists of smaller, fritted and ceramic printed panes of glass held up by stainless steel “spider” fittings.
Through veiling reflections of the surrounding buildings on the glass panels, this is intricate and unique artwork blends the urban setting of CF Rideau Centre with the natural environment around it. The piece is one example of the significant investment made by Cadillac Fairview to upgrade the interior and exterior design at the shopping centre.
“At Cadillac Fairview we aim to deliver a unique experience at every touchpoint and the redevelopment of CF Rideau Centre provided an opportunity to add a completely original, finely crafted and dynamic element to the property,” said Sebastian Greenall, Senior Vice President of Architecture and Design, Cadillac Fairview. “Art is a big component of Ottawa’s culture and whether viewing Time’s Shadow during daylight or evening hours, visitors to Canada’s Capital and CF Rideau Centre will be treated to a stunning and vibrant installation that truly captures the beauty of Canadian seasonality.”
Art Selection process “It was a great pleasure to work on this project with the team at Cadillac Fairview. Their commitment to including professional artists in their projects is truly inspiring and an excellent example of importance of public art in a city,” said Julie DuPont, Manager of the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Program, who worked with CF Rideau Centre on the project.
“We were delighted to work with CF Rideau Centre and be able to apply a cross-Canada public art call and our internationally recognized independent jury process. The result of this process speaks for itself, with a superb piece of public art that will complement the city’s own program for decades to come.” With a tight timeline the project was started through an invitational call for professional Canadian glass artists with experience in large public art projects.
A review panel comprised of architects for the project shortlisted four artists and asked them to create detailed proposals. The artists presented their proposals to a final jury made up of professional artists and architects. Catherine Widgery’s proposal was unanimously chosen by the jury for its subtle and sophisticated imagery and for the way that it captured the sensibilities that Cadillac Fairview wished to express with the new Rideau Centre.