Closer Than

Photo: of an art installation called Closer Than
Richmond Brighouse

Closer Than

By Bill Pechet

Photograph courtesy of the Richmond Public Art Program

This permanent work is comprised of 300 convex safety mirrors attached to the wall of an adjacent housing project and can be viewed from the main train station platform. The work aims to create a deep sense of space and reflection for commuters. The convex safety mirrors produce a shimmering visual plane, which presents the station itself as its subject. The transience of people, space and light produce an evolving and shifting portrait of the station and commuters, where, just like in car mirrors we are closer than we appear. Being closer than we appear is a reference to the physical optical effect of the piece, and a suggestion that as we move about our daily commutes in anonymity, our actions connect to others as we share the world together.

Richmond’s landscapes are filled by a variety of horizons created by the confluence of land, estuary, water and sky. This phenomenon is both a physical and mythological condition. In this piece, the repetition of mirrors creates the effect of multiple horizons, transforming the image of the station into a set of floating horizontals. Because of the convex shape of the mirrors these horizons link commuters to the sky, which disappeared when the new building was constructed. The artwork also enables those on the street level to look up through the foyer of the station and see the activity on the platform, and for those above to sense what is happening on the street. Sky and ground are now closer than they appear as well.

Presented in partnership with the Richmond Public Art Program and the Canada Line Public Art Program – InTransitBC