A towering new sculpture and piece of public art that is devoted to Truth and Reconciliation has been installed at Brandon University.
“Healing Together” is an abstract piece, created by sculptor Kevin McKenzie, which is now a permanent focal point on campus. Located near the intersection of Louise Avenue and 20th Street, across from the Healthy Living Centre and nestled between two residence buildings, this prominent and highly trafficked space ensures that the sculpture is a daily fixture for members of the BU community and a landmark in the city of Brandon.
The sculpture was originally proposed during a Day of Mourning and Reflection, which Brandon University held following the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites across Canada.
Standing more than seven metres high, the sculpture required significant engineering to ensure that it could withstand winds and its own weight. McKenzie, an Assistant Professor in BU’s IshKaabatens Waasa Gaa Inaabateg Department of Visual Art, worked with Brandon’s Kansteel Manufacturing, just down the street from the BU campus, to create the sculpture. It was lifted into place using a crane in late November.
Made out of a special steel alloy that doesn’t need to be painted, the sculpture will slowly change colour as it is exposed to the elements. It is comprised of two vertical pieces connected at right angles. From one, a large irregular segment has been cut our, and looped cords zig-zag from side to side of the missing piece.
Titled “Healing Together,” the piece evokes many different interpretations in viewers, who are invited to reflect on the meaning of Truth and Reconciliation.
In the spring, the university intends to install new interpretive panels, and to complete electrical work that will see the piece illuminated at night.
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