A Vision of Hope
The three female figures on the monument represent suffering, healing and hope. The gear wheel base has had 15 teeth either removed or shattered to symbolize the 14 engineering students targeted and killed at l'École Polytechnique, plus one for other victims of violence. The broken steel I-beam reflects both the engineering background of the victims and the 'lightning-like' shattering of their lives.
The sculpture's permanent placement is in Mary Burlie Park at 97 Street and 105 Avenue. Included as part of the monument are fourteen trees planted in memory of the female engineering students killed on December 6, 1989.
"It was a very emotional project," said artist Michelle Mitchell. In the final week before the sculpture's placement in the park, while Mitchell was working in the NAIT concrete lab, she describes a sudden awareness that she was in the exact same type of environment the 14 women had died in.
"It was powerful, disturbing and inspiring all at once. I felt a definite force had been behind the successful completion of the project right from the beginning. It started from being directed to just the right people that could solve the many technical difficulties encountered to our finding in a pile of scrap metal the huge gear wheel that would so perfectly base the sculpture.”
Grateful thanks to the article "Technologists help artist bring sculpture to 'life'". Excerpts from the engineering magazine: