Limenitis Wall


Date: 2016
Client: Emerald Hills Sports Pavilion
Principal Investigator(s): Jason S. Johnson, Guy Gardner
Project Budget: $32,000
Research Assistants/ Project Team:  Arole Oluwaseyi, Alex Wilton
Funding Agencies: Strathcona County, SSHRC
Status: Built

The Limenitis Wall takes its inspiration from the White Admiral butterfly, Limenitis Arthemitis, a large and highly contrasting black and white species commonly found East of the Rockies. The butterfly has historically functioned as a potent symbol for the metamorphosis of the human soul. We believe this is an apt metaphor for the dynamic and transformational qualities of the Emerald Hills Sports Pavilion in Sherwood Park, a growing community in Strathcona County, Alberta.

The work is composed of hundreds of custom milled, rolled and anodized aluminum components mounted to an exterior wall facing a public plaza. The components, flatcut using a CNC router and formed by hand, are of different sizes and occupy a diagrid with varying levels of subdivision. The components are anodized in black or clear, or are left in a raw state. The colouration and subdivision are driven by a parametric definition which uses multiple layers of image mapping to create a complex visual effect, which is amplified by the curving forms and variety of sizes, colours, and finishes. The combination of these elements plays with the viewer’s pattern recognition system to activate a sense of pareidolia, a response where we project our own meanings or interpretations onto complex formations, which is exemplified by the act of seeing faces in clouds.

The various elements of the work allows it’s appearance to change with different seasons and lighting conditions, and its meaning to shift depending on the viewer’s response. These dynamic forces of transformation combine to activate the façade of the emerald hills sports pavilion and the surrounding public plaza.