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The Line wins Annual Outdoor Sculpture competition

Fanny Rodrigue's hot pink clothesline seeks student engagement in the VA courtyard
December 19, 2018
By Andy Murdoch

The Line, a sculpture by Fanny Rogrigue, will be on display in the VA courtyard until August 2019. The Line, a sculpture by Fanny Rogrigue, will be on display in the VA courtyard until August 2019.

There’s a new public sculpture in the Visual Arts (VA) building courtyard thanks to recent Studio Arts graduate Fanny Rodrigue [BFA Studio Arts 18], winner of an annual Outdoor Sculpture Competition that has been held every year for the last thirty years by the Sculpture program in the Department of Studio Arts.

The Line looks like a scaled-down version of the clotheslines that once dotted Montreal backyards. It features hundreds of pink clothespins attached to wires stacked on three levels, providing space for the public to pin up artwork, messages or photos.

‘It's about the object it will become’

For Rodrigue, the main context was the courtyard and the inside/outside dynamic.

“The Line has the potential to becoming a collective artwork that is in constant evolution. By using common objects and bright colours, I wanted to reach out and have the art community of Concordia engage," she says.

"This public art is not about the object I created, it's about the object it will become,” she explains. "Similar to and improvised quilt, piece by piece, it's an ongoing process and we cannot predict its final result."

‘The budget is important’

Any student who takes a sculpture class in the Winter term can submit a proposal for the VA courtyard sculpture contest, which was created by Andrew Dutkewych, a former Professor in Sculpture, in the 1980s.

Students apply in March and proposals are judged by a committee made up of full-time and part-time sculpture faculty and technicians. The winner is announced in April and they have the summer to work on their piece with a budget of $1400.

“The budget is important,” says Rodrigue. “Public art can be more expensive because you have to think about security, volume, weather and anchoring.”

Working through issues of safety and security with the university is part of the learning process she says, that will make any future proposals for public art much easier.

“Eventually when I apply for a 1%, I’ll be much sharper and ready!”

‘Thousands of potential entry points for connection and care’

Assistant Professor Kelly Jazvac supervised the contest. She says that the committee found the proposal's concept to be strong.  

“It acts like a kind of community board where people could imagine different ways to interact with the sculpture. If a clothesline is a way to clean and care for an object of clothing (and in sculpture, clothing often acts as a stand-in for a body), then this sculpture offers thousands of potential entry points for connection and care.”

Taking a sculpture course Winter 2019 term? Talk with someone in the Department of Studio Arts about how you can submit a proposal for next year's contest.


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