The design concept for the Oakalla Open Space was based on the idea that there should be a transition from urban form at the corner of Oakland and Royal Oak to natural form on the wetlands at the base of the hill. Entitled Water Spheres, nine patinated aluminum spheres—representing nine planets—are the focal point within a central axial pool in a water reclamation park and bio-filtration marsh. The art piece is a collaboration between Tony Bloom (Sculptor), Jane Durante of Durante and Kreuk Ltd (Landscape Consultant), and George Fry of IBI Group Inc. (Consultant). Since 1995 it has been owned by the City of Burnaby.
“My work deals with thresholds and contradictions: between materials, between the rational and the intuitive, the dynamic and the passive, the functional and the non-functional. A question of balance comes into play with the rocking, hinged, opening, or interlocking pieces which are free to move but don’t unless motivated. The addressing of those ironies becomes the point of balance.”
Tony Bloom (1947-present) was born in Tokyo, Japan and lived in Washington, D.C. and Paris before settling in Canmore, Alberta in the early 1970s. Discovering that art gave him more of a challenge and greater fulfillment, Bloom rejected his profession as a physicist. In 1970, while studying musical composition at the Banff School of Fine Arts, he began crafting a flute out of clay. He soon realized how much of a challenge this was, and came to love the material and processes of this craft. It was ten years later that Bloom realized he had a career in front of him.
Tony Bloom’s works have been exhibited in North America, Europe, and Japan for over forty years now. He is one of Canada’s more respected sculptors, working in steel, copper, bronze, and aluminum. Bloom is co-founder of Stonecrop Studios in Canmore, Alberta, where he continues to pursue his art.