Saanich develops interactive 3D art in a bid to defeat pandemic blues – Saanich News


Residents visiting the Saanich Municipal Hall may notice a giant chalk stain at the top of the concrete stairs.

But take the right angle and view it through a phone or camera, and the viewer witnesses the neighborhood’s latest piece of public art – a 3D chalk work by Scott Gilles.

Locals might recognize Gillies – from 2014 until the end of the event he participated in the Greater Victoria Chalk Art Festival. Until COVID-19 hit, he also participated in a similar event in Burnaby.

He failed to work in public until this summer when Saanich presented his public art program and he made two pieces, a fountain and pedestal in Cadboro-Gyro Park and the surf keyboard outside of the municipal hall.

Gilles – who owns and operates Azara Effect Productions, an animation, illustration and video production company – spent about 15 hours working on the eight-by-12-foot chalk work at the Town Hall.

He starts from a sketch on paper, then works on the concept, and of course, has a little back and forth with the neighborhood on what is doable, and suited to the space. Until a decade ago, work like this was prepared with pencil and paper, and while there are digital tools to speed up the process these days, there is still trial and error. .

“The way perspective works as things move away, crash and shrink,” he explained. “You have to be extremely biased. “

The musical note, for example, is stretched 10 to 12 times longer than if you looked down on it.

Everything is set ablaze at an angle from a specific point of view.

“When you walk around, everything immediately becomes skewed,” said the artist, whose first work was done in the Edmonton Oilers’ 2006 Stanley Cup race.

“I thought I should draw a Stanley Cup outside the Colosseum and distorted it to be an anamorphic 3D drawing but no one knew what it was.”

There is certainly some education required. Gillies will often add a sign, suggesting a camera or phone, and even paint a pair of feet for the best viewing experience.

“There is an awareness of 3D designs permeating the culture now, so people know where to stand,” he said.

One goal, and a big key to his work for those who create community arts for Saanich, is his attempt to create interactive art. He wants people to be part of the sculpture. With viewing through a camera, the work is of an Instagrammable quality.

“I really hope people are standing on the keyboard and taking a picture,” he said. “It’s an amazing thing when you can make adults be silly and have fun.”

This is the goal of the arts program in the community of Saanich, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has struck with its myriad of health and safety restrictions.

“It’s a really fun way to bring his art into the community, but also the way he treats his art invites you to be a part of it. By participating, it really comes to life, ”said Brenda Weatherston, community arts programmer for Saanich. “They are fun and playful and there is always something unexpected about them.”

Gillies is among the artists who create opportunities on a smaller scale and closer to home for people to engage in the arts openly. A recent open-air opera was also part of the program, with a few more still in the works.

To be continued on and the neighborhood social media platforms for other artistic activities.

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Scott Gillies made this 3D chalk artwork outside Saanich Town Hall. (Photo from Colin factory)

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