This project is a proposal for the Town of Mount Royal in Quebec.

CONCEPT: Dichotomy

noun: dichotomy

a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

Dichotomy is a beacon that shimmers and responds to the wind and light, changing dramatically depending on the position of the viewer.  A luminous construction that suggests the branches of a grove of trees as well as the animate workings of the mind, delicate and beautiful but, like the brain, bifurcated into two parts.  The empty slice of space between the two halves is at the heart of the artwork’s meaning: Culture and Nature coexist in both harmony and a dynamic tension.  The empty space and the twisting, acute angles of Dichotomy stand as a symbol of our complex and fraught relationship with the natural world at this time when our awareness of the fragility of our planet is more urgent than ever.  

Dichotomy is constructed from the straight lines and grids of industrial materials in the human built environment, a reference to science and engineering’s rational ordering systems studied here at the University.  However, the twisting organic forms pay homage to the natural world, the ‘garden’ that is at the heart of Town of Mount Royal’s identity.  This work speaks to several dichotomies: order and chaos, dynamism and stasis, our confidence in our power to control our world and the humility of our limitations in the face of vast forces beyond our control. 

Dichotomy serves as a metaphor for the perilous relationship we have with a natural world under threat even as its beauty and engineering prowess are a testament to our unique creative genius.