A Matter of Perspective

Version 2

A ray of sunlight
Threads its way
Filling the carafe*
Joining steel, emptiness, and water.
The chemistry reveals a trio of states:
Solid, liquid, gaseous.

But if you bend your head, or lay on your side…
Look again. A different perspective.
A guitar maybe?

Version 3

Tip the urn*
Take your turn
Pour out the sun
Have a little fun
Pluck a string
Play a chord.
Aqua minor

Flip it over. Now an entirely new perspective!

Version 5

Good to the last drop…
Liberated of its contents
Dangling amidst puffs of mist
The bottle* almost floats
Upwards like a balloon?
Solar urchin, porcupine, pincushion

Some days you’re up, some days you’re not, and others you’d just rather be lying down…

*I chose three synonyms to describe the sculpture I photographed a few weeks ago by Winnipeg’s Millennium Library, yet this unique beaker has its very own name.

What is it?
The “emptyful,” an erlenmeyer flask-shaped fountain, is the most expensive piece of public art in Winnipeg history. The artwork (by artist Bill Pechet and lighting co-designer Chris Pekar of Lightworks) represents the idea that something can be empty and full at the same time. “It was influenced by the phenomenon of weather and human endeavor,” Pechet says. “When you first visit Winnipeg, it can appear empty and open, set amidst the vastness of prairie and sky. But within, the city is full of creative energy.” emptyful is inspired by the idea that Winnipeg (and the prairies which surround it) is full of emptiness…a boundless space where various phenomena such as weather, light, seasons and human endeavour come and go. The recognizable shape implies containment, but the open construction allows for the opposite: light, wind, rain and snow flow through easily. This shape also suggests an experiment, as a way to acknowledge that the city itself is a constant experiment, the product of imagination and knowledge.

Description and artist’s remarks
Kives, Bartley (21 July 2012). “Library park’s opening better late than never.”
Winnipeg Free Press.


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