See Hear Speak

Visitor Information Centre & Clay and Glass Gallery

Art installation by Paul Robels

Presented in partnership with STEPS Public Art.

A barrel full of monkeys is popping up in Waterloo for Winterloo… Don’t miss out or you’ll get caught red-handed!

Created by artist Paul Robles, the curved forms will lead you through a snake-like path and make you wonder, what are the monkeys building? Why are their hands red? Are they ghosts of a pre-pandemic social scene?

See Hear Speak was conceived of during the pandemic and is intended to interrupt the quiet of a once thriving gathering place. It is an oddity calling for attention, conjuring a magnetic contradiction that highlights and denies the human experience of contact, folly, and closeness. The playful shapes are layered with monkeys and meaning to suggest team bonding exercises, sporty cheer(leaders), religious divination, and even fraternity hazing.  Echoing society’s current unease, the title invokes the proverb of the Three Wise Monkeys and how the threat of isolation and despair can lead to compulsive diversion.

After debuting at Winterloo, the installation will move to the Eby Farmstead in Waterloo Park.

See Hear Speak was originally commissioned by the Winnipeg Arts Council through Winnipeg’s Public Art Program.

About the artist

Filipino born Winnipeg artist Paul Robles is known for his intricate cut paper works. He combines delicate craft with animist familiars, folklore, ghosts, and grief to explore psychological and emotional states. Recently, Robles has begun to incorporate sculptural elements into his work.

Photo Credit: Carla Hernandez, courtesy of the Winnipeg Arts Council

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