A Slow Unfolding

“Landscape’s most crucial condition is considered to be space, but its deepest theme is time.” ~ Rebecca Solnit

The landscape carries clockwork that puts the clock to shame. Its second hand peels away, to be replaced by clouds of tiny flies; its minute hand runs skittering into the bushes, and minutes are instead measured in the sound of small animal rummaging for food, or a Robin yelling at a Magpie disturbing her nest; the hour hand fades and is taken by bright and dappled light, as the sun arches through the sky overhead. Even the face of the clock melts – not as a Dali clock would, but like ice melts into a river at night, so slowly you hardly realize it’s happening, and yet it’s gone in the morning.

Soundscapes in the Landscape

A Wandering Weekend invited visitors to explore Elbow Island at their own pace, learning about the art, experiencing the island, and listening to musicians play improvised, spatial compositions in collaboration with the land itself.

Artist-Designed Benches

Each bench on Elbow Island was designed by an artist duo who built their ideal place to sit together, daydream, rest, and watch the river flow by. You can see short documentaries about their process here.

A Wandering Weekend

Join us for a day of wandering on Calgary’s own art island, including a choose-your-own-adventure walking tour, soundscapes in the landscape, and a bike-in film screening of mini-docs about The Wandering Island art projects.

Fish Ladder

The stairs leading down onto Elbow Island are the only access point to the park. Designing new stairs for the space was the seed that grew into the overall Wandering Island project. Watch a short documentary about the design + build process here!

A Wandering Tour

You’re invited on a tour of the stairs, benches, and stepping stones on Elbow Island Park. Let this blog be your guide to the artworks on The Wandering Island.

Design + Build

Each bench on Elbow Island Park was created by an artist duo reflecting a different type of relationship: daughter/father team Laura & Michael Hosaluk, friend duo Jeremy Pavka & Sean Procyk, and collaborative partners Susan Clarahan & Joel Staples. These artists were selected for their multidisciplinary skills, merging artistic sensibilities with backgrounds in carpentry, drafting,…

Island Time

Time usually drifts on Elbow Island, measured by the shifting of the seasons and the rise and fall of the Elbow River. As the hot Summer sun beats down on this remarkably wild inner-city park space, a collision of chronologies is unfolding: time, as measured by nature, meets time, as measured by humans. Construction equipment…

Rock Ford

This mini-doc, created by our project filmmaker Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi, tracks the process of conceiving and installing the rock ford artworks on Elbow Island Park. The second in a series of mini-docs following The Wandering Island, this short film documents artists Lane Shordee and Kablusiak, as they work on their stone projects in the Elbow River. You can read more…

An Invitation

From our documentary filmmaker Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi, comes the first in a series of mini-docs following The Wandering Island. This film is an introduction and invitation to the project, intended to track the beginning of a multi-year public art project embedded in a Calgary/Mohkínstsis park space.  The Wandering Island: An invitation from Wandering Island on Vimeo. Mini-docs, photos,…


Another of the permanent artworks on Elbow Island takes the form of a rock ford – essentially, stepping stones to help visitors cross a secondary channel of water. Before the project, this ephemeral stream was dry except during high-flow months. After the project, the stream will flow all year round, and visitors will be able to…

Sitting Together

On the first of our many walks on Elbow Island, we were bursting with thoughts, observations, and ideas. We looked for somewhere on the island to sit down and discuss, but we soon recognized that (aside the foliage or the dusty bank) there isn’t really anywhere convenient to sit, to rest and talk, or watch…


The first aspect of The Wandering Island is a new stairway leading down into Elbow Island Park, designed by lead artists Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett. Intended to replace the current rickety wooden stairs (damaged during the flood of 2013), the stairs provide access to the island from Mission Bridge, a historically significant Calgary bridge…

Floating Islands

Conceptually, Elbow Island drifts between city + nature, land + river, public + private, camouflaged + forgotten.

Public Art

…ultimately everything, nature and culture as well, and thus [humans] and [their] habitat, are connected in an infinite, diverse systems of relationships. Edgar Morin, Sustainability Theorist The potential for public artworks within the overall Elbow Island Park project is multifold. There is a possibility to impact both the infrastructure of the island, and its social/conceptual…