Rhonda Weppler / Trevor Mahovsky
Public works

Idea For A Trellis

powder coated aluminum
284 feet tall, each letter 60 × 31 inches
Installation: 1308 Hornby, Vancouver, BC
Commissioned by Concert Properties

Idea For A Trellis adapts the phrase “we must cultivate our garden” from Voltaire’s Candide, or Optimism (1759) into a series of 24 letter graphics that have been water-jet cut from 3/8” thick aluminum plate. We designed the font, which combines the idea of illuminated (or elaborately decorated) fonts with a convention of traditional trellis making, whereby the lines of the trellis’ latticework are arranged to appear as isomorphic illusions of columns, arches and doorways. For the bottom word—garden—this decorative font becomes the support for a further decorative element: a blackberry vine motif, created by digitally tracing photographs taken of the species of Himalayan blackberry bushes that are so prevalent in Vancouver. This thickly growing invasive bush is brought into a tangled relation with the concept of ‘garden’.