Medium: Ferro-cement, steel

Credit(s): Carlos Basanta

Art ID: 130

Year: 2000

In developing the Village Park system in Village North, the municipality sought to commission art as an integral part of each of the three sites. In Village Park West the municipality created flowing organic shapes inspired by Fitzsimmons Creek and mounds to differentiate what had been a flat and small parcel of land. One path, called the Leaping Stones, spirals up to the top of a mound, creating a fanciful place for sculpture. The concept of this as a special gathering place led to the Storyteller’s Chair art competition.

Artist Carlos Basanta was selected for his proposal to create a unique, textured chair in ferro-cement over a metal frame. The chair features the shape of a blanket strewn across the chair, as if the storyteller has just left the chair. The artist’s concept included gathering translations of the phrase “once upon a time” in numerous languages that would be featured in the creation of the chair. The artist contacted numerous consulates, bands and cultural groups and ended up with thirty versions of the phrase. The translations are carved into the chair, or, in the case of one small Braille translation, embossed on the chair. Originally from Spain, the artist’s career has taken him around the world. He is now Vancouver. This sculpture represents his cosmopolitan background and the diversity of people that come to enjoy Whistler.

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