Surrey, BC – Surrey’s Public Art Program welcomed a new public artwork by Erica Stocking titled Blankets installed as part of the new West Village Energy Centre at 13231 Central Avenue. There was a free, grand opening event on Thursday, June 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
where the public could see the inner workings of the Energy Centre, learn about the artwork, and enjoy musical entertainment and family-friendly activities in Surrey’s newest urban park. An artist talk about this sculpture is being planned for later this summer.
West Village Energy Centre, Surrey’s first permanent district energy centre, is key to shaping a sustainable, renewable energy future in City Centre. Using high-efficiency natural gas boilers, partially fueled by biogas produced from organic waste at the Surrey Biofuel Facility, the Energy Centre generates heat energy for buildings within the West Village neighbourhood and City Centre connected via underground pipes.
Erica Stocking conveys the building’s function as a carrier of warmth through her Blankets artwork. Sitting atop the boiler stacks on the roof, these fibreglass sculptures connect the warmth the Centre generates for residents with the warmth a person creates when wrapping a loved one in a blanket.
The colours of the artwork correspond to the heat production and distribution systems inside the Energy Centre. The three variations of the blankets (folded, draped, and wrapped) match the three states of energy: stored, waiting, and in use.
The sculptures are inspired by the question: what is a contemporary hearth in an age of industrial fire? Stocking says, “Perhaps a contemporary hearth does not involve fire at all but is the sharing of space.” The theme of fire, and therefore heat, reminds visitors of humanity’s historical reliance on fire and the Energy Centre’s function as a modern hearth.
In developing this artwork, Erica Stocking engaged with many residents, from students at Kwantlen Park Secondary to residents in nearby condo towers and other neighbours in the West Village.
About the Artist
Erica Stocking is a multimedia artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She has exhibited art since she graduated in 2004. In 2009, Erica completed the public artwork Yellow Fence at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby and, in the same year, was awarded Vancouver Mayor’s Art Award for Emerging Public Artist.
In 2012, she completed Geyser for Hillcrest Park, a permanent public artwork made for the City of Vancouver in collaboration with Vanessa Kwan, facility staff, parks board, and various engineers.
About Surrey’s Public Art Program
Established in 1998, Surrey’s Public Art Program contributes to the creation of a lively, beautiful, inclusive, and complete community. The City’s art collection reflects community identity, cultural diversity and Indigenous heritage.
Public art contributes to placemaking across the City and its sustainable socio-economic development. Among the 100+ artworks in Surrey’s public art collection are mosaics, paintings, and interactive sculptures that remember Surrey’s history, enhance infrastructure, and honour the surrounding natural environment.
From subtle to iconic, public art can be found in the City’s parks, on pathways, streets, SkyTrain pillars, and civic buildings throughout the City of Surrey. For more information about the Public Art Program and the collection, visit surrey.ca/publicart