The District of West Vancouver and Enhance West Van invite the community to celebrate the unveiling of ‘Small World’, a new public art project by North Shore artist Brent Comber. The unveiling will take place on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 5 p.m. on the lawn of the West Vancouver Community Centre.
This public art project was funded by Enhance West Van through a donation from the Lalji family. The donation was made to benefit the community and enhance programs, services, and equipment at the West Vancouver Community Centre. One of the initiatives recommended by Enhance West Van and the Lalji family was to commission a piece of public art reflecting the essence of the community: nature, outdoors, family, and connection.
The District’s Public Art Advisory Committee, together with Enhance West Van, initiated an artist-call and reviewed a number of submissions from across Canada. The selection panel commissioned Brent Comber.
‘Small World’ is comprised of two monolithic western red cedar creatures born from urban salvage slated for redevelopment in Deep Cove and Horseshoe Bay. The two sculptures are nicknamed Mama and Baby, as they mirror the dynamic of parents bringing their children to the Community Centre, keeping an eye as they socialize. Their uncanny silhouettes stand tall, creating a focal point for community interaction both interpersonally and with nature.
The sculptures are intended to enliven children’s imaginations and encourage unstructured play. For adults, they are a talking point to connect and rediscover child-like curiosity and effortless inclusivity. Their peculiar appearance is a reminder of the wonder of nature and the value of acceptance for the unfamiliar.
Brent Comber has a personal connection with this story, having raised his own children in West Vancouver, bringing them to the Community Centre to play.
Brent Comber is an artist and designer creating sculpted objects, functional pieces, and designed environments. Brent initially began working with wood as a garden designer in the early 1990s, creating pieces to compliment his Pacific Rim inspired gardens. Using solid pieces of wood, he found a new take on design that truly integrated with the landscape. It is his interpretation of the natural world that drives Brent to create pieces that reflect the stories that surround him.
Materials are sustainably sourced from the surrounding area and milled at his oceanfront workshop and gallery. Through the exploration of materials: wood, stone, and glass, resources are taken at their purest form and transformed into objects of recognition while the fundamental elements remain. Brent takes care to ensure that every piece retains its story, its relationship with the greater system, and that this story remains visible throughout his body of work.
Brent is the fourth generation of his family to be raised in the Pacific Northwest. Ranging from residential to commercial installations, his aesthetic interpretation of the West Coast has been recognized both locally and globally, showing as far as Paris, London, Japan, Bora Bora, and beyond. Brent continues to explore themes unique to the Pacific Northwest that connect people to this unparalleled setting and the history and dynamism of the landscape.