Winnipeg 1919 General Strike Competition - Finalist
The installation is inspired by a moment during the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike when a large group of protestors pushed over a train car. The act has become a widely publicized metaphor for the labour strike as a whole. The form of the installation encourages one to walk under a leaning mass of steel and then ascend it on one side. The ramp widens as one ascends, and the individual joins as a group at the top. Whether to contemplate the strike, use the ramp for morning running, or take in some sightseeing, the installation is also a place for the surrounding community to gather.
The ramp is universally accessible and includes apertures at all heights. One slowly rises above the street, culminating with a view of the historic intersection in the Exchange District. Market Avenue, Lily Street and Elgin Avenue were used as escape routes when the police clashed with the strikers at the intersection in 1919. The steel facade is both a symbol of protection and a lookout toward Elgin Street where strikers rallied in a former park. The angle of the wall focuses the view toward the corner of Elgin and Lily. It also allows sunlight into the south opening where an existing tree grows adjacent to the ramp. The corten looks like a relic from the past, blending into the historic area as a respected sculpture.