Public Artwork

Compass Rose

Justin Wonnacott, Compass Rose
King Edward Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Wonnacott, Justin
Text author(s): 
Wonnacott, Justin
Installation year: 

This work combines a simplified image of the Ottawa area landscape, as seen from a satellite, with a drawing of a surveyor's sextant over the city, which partly obscures the word "domicile" so that it reads as "docile".

Text of the artwork: 


Text theme: 
Place, present moment, typography of Ottawa

The stone is set into the pavement so that the map is oriented to the geomagnetic North. The image offers numerous puns on the idea of place. This artwork could be said to be in the present tense in terms of how we understand or define topography today as opposed to other artwork on the mall which borrows a surveyor's narrative that is almost 200 years old and primarily concerned with a warm place to sleep and drink. One work is about being there; another is about a more indirect experience.