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Squamish's newest waterfront public art piece coming together

Locally-based visual artist Maskull Lasserre's piece, Lacuna, is part of the Oceanfront Squamish development.
Maskull Lasserre at work on ‘Lacuna’ on the Squamish waterfront.

Squamish's waterfront has a large, new public art installation going up as part of the Oceanfront Squamish development.

Commissioned by the developer, Matthews West, the piece, called 'Lacuna' is by Squamish-based visual artist, Maskull Lasserre.

"Wikipedia will give you a more definitive definition, but I understand 'Lacuna' as 'the space between things", said Lasserre in an interview with The Squamish Chief.

"All of my work tries to open up the spectrum between two points that it pins down; I try to stretch those things on a spectrum. It's the space between them I really want to open for the viewer to experience."

Made up of seven different pieces spread across a waterfront public park that's still a work-in-progress, Lacuna is made using bronze, steel and granite in a nod to the surrounding environment, and the history of the Squamish waterfront—but Lasserre said his piece was about giving people an opportunity to think, rather than saying anything itself.

"My work isn't a pin drop; it's a signpost with an arrow ... It's not a declarative statement: it's a question or an invitation or a challenge—It's all of those things, much more than one definitive thing."

'But what is it?' is usually the next question, he said. "If I could describe exactly what it is in words, I'd just write it down."

Lasserre has been working on Lacuna for over two years, from connecting with the developer to where it is now, reaching completion. The park itself has a way to go before formally opening (while the wider development is a years-long endeavour), but Lasserre's part in creating Lacuna is reaching an end.

Lasserre's work has appeared all around North America. Born in Canada, he spent his formative years in South Africa, and moved to Squamish from Montreal in 2015 to 'throw up the deck' for a different environment to work in, and it's the location that helped with inspiration for his latest work.

"So much of the environment here is about space and living in that space; these are just kind of punctuations or stars in a constellation that the viewer is invited to fill in with their own meaning."

He said that what he looked for in new works was understanding the constraints of what he had to work with; in Squamish, the beauty of the waterfront and the surrounding environment.

"It was something that called for these monumental works that spoke in a meaningful way with their physical, cultural and historical environment. All of those things overlap in these physical structures, and they're all evident to varying degrees.

"It needs to be about something that's more than just itself. I think of art as if it's a good conversational partner— a good conversationalist doesn't just talk about themselves, you build this idea between yourself and the other person. And hopefully, a good conversation can be built between this work and the viewer."

Lacuna is Lasserre's first piece of public art to be displayed in Squamish. You can find his portfolio on his website at


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