Allow art to break out of gallery walls, integrate it in daily life and discover there is more than meets the eye.
Those are the words of British artist Tristan Surtees, who has formed Sans façon with French architect Charles Blanc for the past twelve years.
Currently touring to discuss their artwork, the internationally recognized pair will stop by Richmond Feb. 21 to kick off this year’s The Lulu Series: Art in the City, a host of talks exploring the relationship between art and the urban environment.
According to Surtees’ personal definition, “art is a broad spectrum, it’s not just sculptural or two dimensional, but is also external and inviting.”
As such, he and Blanc pair up artists with municipal infrastructure design teams in their Calgary-based project Watershed+. Placing creative minds in a utilitarian facility and letting them in on the design and installation of water pumps, allows the artistic potential of a water system to be explored.
Richmond too, could explore opportunities on how artists can take up that kind of work in the community, said Surtees.
“Revealing the aspects we forget about helps us to engage in the enjoyment of the environment,” he said.
See something new and fresh in something familiar lets people experience the world in different ways, according to Surtees.
Another work Surtees and Blanc will present to the Richmond audience is Limelight: Saturday Night, a live public art installation in Vancouver.
Converting two existing streetlights, the duo created a spotlight that lights up the street and invites people to transform the street into a stage.
Two simultaneous installations will be put up in other parts of the city, starting off at dusk Jan. 25 and 26.
The installation has already travelled to 12 places around the world, with people “performing, sharing kisses or proposing marriage,” Surtees said.
Artist Paula Jardine from Victoria will discuss her artwork that combines landscape, poetry, lanterns, music and fire, as part of the Lulu Series’ second event on Feb. 21.
Director of the Vancouver Public Space Network Andrew Pask will then discuss the history of public space on March 28.
All events are free and start at 7 p.m. at Richmond City Hall Council Chamber, 6911 No. 3 Road. As seating is limited, guests are advised to reserve their seats by emailing email@example.com. For more information, check out www.richmond.ca/luluseries.