Artfully Pouring Concrete on a Cold Winter’s Night

A crowd gathers to watch the opening act of Omer Arbel’s latest artwork.

It was a chilly winter evening when we attended Omer Arbel’s Casting Commencement, the first in a series of anticipatory events leading up to Particles for the Built World, the designer/sculptor/architect’s April solo exhibition at the Surrey Art Gallery.

It took some doing just finding the place — Look for the concrete truck, read the sign posted along a dark street off Clark Drive. So there we were, gathered in an industrial building (a former auto repair workshop still lined with wrecked vehicles), unsure what would happen next. Was this a performance? Was someone going to say something? But just as we were wondering this, out came the concrete, poured from the concrete mixer truck parked outside and guided into a giant fabric mould supported by plywood. We were there to witness the beginnings of a work in progress.

How did we know this was worth checking out? Because Omer Arbel.

Omer is a Vancouver and Berlin-based designer, sculptor and architect, and the creative director of Bocci, a design and manufacturing company best known for its innovative sculptural lighting installations (such as this one hanging from the ceiling at Tacofino). Of course we were going to check it out!

For details on the next event in this series, sign up here and we’ll hopefully have the opportunity to see the resulting concrete sculpture together. Particles for the Built World is being curated by Jordan Strom, Surrey Art Gallery’s Curator of Exhibitions and Collections.

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