News / Edmonton

Permanent art installation unveiled at Edmonton’s Simons store

Amid the pleats, the plaid and the panache at Simons in West Edmonton Mall hangs a living, breathing piece of art – almost.

Simons Aurora is a permanent art piece designed for the store by Toronto architect Philip Beesley. The chains of light amid the layers of lace that respond to human movement create an effect that is ethereal and mimics elements of nature, like the Northern Lights or a forest, explained Beesley.

“It makes for something like very distributed intelligence, like a swarm of insects or of a flock of birds, passing little signals from part to part. It produces a rippling, undulating wave that you see all around you,” he said.

“On one hand, there’s a sense of some surprise, so it’s not familiar. There’s a sense that you might even get lost. But at the same time, I think an old person holding a kid’s hand could come in here and say ‘hey, look! Cool.’ And I would be so very happy when those emotions happen at the same time.”

The installation of an art piece in Simons stores is a tradition for the Canadian brand, and the first store in Western Canada is no different, said Peter Simons, President and CEO of Simons.

“There are moments you really do stand and look at it, and I notice people appreciate it consciously and think about it. But on the other hand, like good architecture and good design, it happens on a subconscious level. It becomes integrated into the environment and it brings feelings without (people) even knowing it,” he said.

“Art is optimism. … Art reminds you of everything that man is capable of.”

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