Audio Transcript for Flank II by Mia Westerlund Roosen

Since the early seventies, Mia Westerlund Roosen has exhibited her sculpture primarily on the east coast of the United States and in Canada. Her work at Western, Flank II, was made at the Vancouver Art Gallery for a one person exhibition and then brought to Western after her exhibition closed. The uniqueness of her sculpture stems from her approach to materials and her emphasis on a process which joins together the dense forms of sculpture and the surface qualities of painting. As Roosen relates, this sculpture is interesting in terms of its processes.

Westerlund Roosen said:

“Flank ll was an extension of the Slab and Muro Series done in the mid seventies combining concrete with steel and asphalt. My intent was to use concrete as an immediate and mundane material to make a reductive but imperfect geometric piece that would exude energy from it's core and a monochromatic painterliness from its surface. In Flank II the copper is part of the form into which the concrete is poured. Unlike a very precise forming method, the varied imperfections of the shape activate the surface and accentuate the density and weightiness of the material. The wedge shape is an echo of the Muro Series, but being low and horizontal, the copper surface is facing upwards towards the viewer.”

“Although very beautiful and pure, I was never interested in making a truly minimalist object. I wanted to subvert this ideal with discrete expressiveness, drawn line, sensuous surface, inherent color and wonky geometry. Then I hoped the pieces would not only be present but alive.”

After sitting directly on a grass surface for 28 years, the sculpture had deteriorated beyond repairs so the artist returned to Western in 2016 and refabricated the sculpture in the exact form as it had been created and selected a new site for it.