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Traveller's Return

Andy DaviesTrav Return
Droplet cluster: 6m high x 2m wide (19'h x 7.5'w); single droplet 5.5m high x 1m wide (18'h x 4.5'w)
Aluminum
2011
Prince Arthur's landing - Base of Pier 3 

The site of Traveller's Return has a 5,000-year history as a place of interface between the Great Lakes, the world’s oceans and western Canada. The droplet-shaped sculptures by Lethbridge-based artist Andy Davies are located on the pathway leading to Pier 3.

The theme for the art competition, ‘Watching over/Awaiting the Return’ (of the mariner, soldier, railroad worker, traveller), was developed to give expression to the site which has shaped innumerable lives - a place steeped in memories of farewell, reunion, loss and heroism.

The design and form of the sculpture is based on a water droplet, a reference to the commanding waters of Lake Superior. Taken as a whole, the sculpture functions as a dialogue between the two pieces within it, the group and the single. The sculpture activates the space of the Mariner's Hall plaza and engages the public to walk through and interact with it. The mirror finished surface of the sculptures invites young and old alike to get up close and see themselves in the work.

The title carries a double meaning. Written with the apostrophe it speaks to the return of a traveller — to home, family and community. This speaks to the travellers, tourists and migrant workers that Thunder Bay has welcomed over the centuries. Spoken without the apostrophe, it is a call or beckon to Thunder Bayers who have gone away to return home again and see their city with new eyes.  

- Andy Davies (artist)