Vancouver: A young Surrey couple has ‘locked in’ their love at Vancouver Park Board’s new sculpture dedicated to eternal love.
Arvinder Gill and Sukhdeep Uppal is the first couple to declare their love with an engraved padlock at the love locks sculpture in Queen Elizabeth Park. The sweethearts also got engaged at the sculpture.
“I expect this striking public art will delight residents and visitors alike as it’s beautiful and interactive,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. “Public art is important because it creates engaging spaces in our parks and cities.”
Gill contacted the Park Board to enquire about the completion of the love locks sculpture so they could be the first to get a padlock locked onto it.
“I read a news story about the sculpture and thought it would be a memorable way for me and Sukhdeep to express our love,” said Gill. “I proposed at the love locks on September 5th, Sukhdeep accepted and then we added our love lock.”
The Park Board approved the steel sculpture of four entwined couples entitled ‘Love in the Rain’ at a meeting in May. The piece is designed by Vancouver artist Bruce Voyce and celebrates the shelter that love brings and the union that it forms. Love has no boundaries and therefore the human forms in the sculpture have been left both ageless and genderless, locked together in an everlasting embrace.
“I feel that art has transformative power; it can open our minds and hearts. Public art can shape our shared spaces into places of inspiration and connection. I feel very fortunate to be involved with a project that will be completed by the people and stories of love connected to the artwork.” said Voyce.
The $50,000 sculpture adds a new public artwork to city parks and addresses concerns raised about the number of love locks being attached to fencing on the Burrard Bridge and sites in southeast False Creek. The sculpture is seen as a way to focus the locks in one place, rather than have them accumulate around the city.
The sculpture is located in the lookout above the Quarry Garden near Bloedel Conservatory at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park. It will support several thousand locks on the skirts of each couple. Keys can be deposited in a box on site and will eventually be recycled or melted down to become part of another sculpture.
Queen Elizabeth Park was chosen as a home for the sculpture after the Park Board polled the public on where they would like to see it installed.
Love locks are padlocks that romantic partners have traditionally locked to a bridge, gate, or similar public fixture to show their love. Names or initials are typically inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize an unbreakable bond.