With the island newly reopened on November 28th, it’s been an exciting week here at the zoo. The flood damage repairs are almost complete and it seems like everyone is looking forward to reconnecting with something different.
If you’ve been down for a visit in the past two weeks, you’ve probably noticed our fabulous new sculpture at the north entrance. We’re getting lots of questions about it, and this post will answer a few of them.
The sculpture, entitled Egg – The Unity of Diversity, is a stunning, three-dimensional art piece that you can walk through! As you explore the inside you’ll find a colourful collection of two-dimensional cut-outs and three-dimensional relief sculptures – all celebrating the diversity of life on earth.
The piece was commissioned back in 2011, after an international Call to Artists. Working with the City of Calgary Public Art Program, we wanted an art piece that would be both unique and beautiful, capturing the essence of the zoo and speaking to our mission. We think the final piece, created by artist Brower Hatcher, from Mid-Ocean Studios, fulfills all our criteria.
Reflecting the zoo’s role in animal care and conservation
Brower Hatcher describes his creation as “an image of the sacredness of the biodiversity of the planet and our responsibility as earthlings to respect all living things”. What a fitting way to sum up our role here at the zoo as advocates, stewards and leaders in conservation.
As you walk through the egg, take some time to notice the plants and animals represented, all of which have a special connection with our mission and operations at the zoo:
- Animals chosen to reflect the diversity of taxonomy groups at the zoo; including Vancouver Island marmots, black-footed ferrets, Amur tigers, king penguins and caribou, which are all important species in our conservation efforts.
- A glorious selection of plants representing the fabulous collections in our Botanical Gardens, including native plants and garden favorites, as well as specimens from the inside collections.
“Watching the egg take shape has been an uplifting and inspiring process. The egg project has incorporated elements into the piece that are near and dear to us at the Calgary Zoo,” says Colleen Hnylycia, project manager for the construction of the egg.
“I see the opportunity ahead for us to use the egg and the individual pieces inside to educate visitors and communicate about our collection and conservation efforts,” says Colleen.
If you haven’t been down to the zoo since our reopening, be sure to plan a visit soon, it’s a lovely time of year to spend a day at the zoo. And don’t forget to stop and enjoy our beautiful new art piece on your way in. Take some time to wander through and enjoy the colourful display; and if you’re down here for ZOOLIGHTS, you’ll even see the sculpture in full, illuminated splendour!