Imagine All the People
Public-art competitions tend to call for the showstopping and the neck-craning...
Olivia Stren -- Interior Design, 8/1/2010 4:18:00 PM
Public-art competitions tend to call for the showstopping and the neck-craning. But to commemorate the 40th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's bed-in and its anthem, "Give Peace a Chance," Montreal sought an installation arresting for its very discretion. "Clients usually prefer something vertical-to show off," Linda Covit says. Better known for her dramatic stainless-steel sculptures, she explains that, in this case, she and a landscape architect, Groupe Cardinal Hardy's Marie-Claude Séguin, proposed a horizontal work that "wouldn't interfere with the beauty" of the site, the city's sylvan Mont Royal park.
Give Peace a Chance is a stroll-happy pathway consisting of 180 limestone slabs that resemble the keys of a giant piano. In celebration of urban diversity and harmony, each key is emblazoned with the song's title in one of the 40 languages that lend their voices to the sound track that is Montreal. Patches of moss sprout between the stone. "With its rock and vegetation, the installation is a miniature version of the park," Séguin says. It was designed in 1874 by Frederick Law Olmsted, and Give Peace a Chance follows the Serpentine, his silence-steeped road. "Olmsted conceived it to allow people to discover the mountain slowly," she adds, "giving them the chance to take a break." And find inner peace.