Anyone who’s visited Vancouver knows it’s a beautiful city with endless natural wonders to enjoy and explore. It makes sense that much of their public art also thematically emulates and plays with nature. A perfect example is The Drop (2009) which was conceived and created by Inges Idee, a group of four Berlin-based German artists: Hans Hemmert, Axel Lieber, Thomas Schmidt and George Zey. The group’s activity focuses on art in public spaces, with The Drop being their first installation in North America.
Thrust into the waters of Burrard Inlet, The Drop playfully invites the viewer to reflect on our relationships with the precious commodity of water, and by extension, on the history, complexity and future of the waterfront. The sculpture pays homage to the element of water and untamable forces of nature. Although the sculpture takes a natural phenomenon as its starting point, it displays a technical perfection, artificially colored to correspond to the sky.
The slender, elongated 18-meter sculpture alludes to the elements of rain and the ocean, which are omnipresent in Vancouver. The work’s field of tension derives from its balancing on one point of its lower surface; as if a huge raindrop were on the verge of landing on the sea walk. It’s angle and orientation create a visual dialogue with the architecture of the adjacent Convention Center, as well as with the bows of the gigantic cruise ships arriving to and departing from the port of Vancouver. It relates directly to the striking supporting pillars of the Convention Center and on the square — shaped like a ship’s bow — triggering associations of a gigantic, radiant-blue ship’s figurehead fallen from the sky.
The Drop functions as a surprising and simultaneously laconic landmark in which technical perfection is united with an homage to the power of nature.