Since 1999, a motley assortment of metal sculptures have been taking over a vacant lot in Montreal’s vibrant Mile End neighborhood. Welded together from scrap iron, the constructions loom over the lot like ghostly totems of the area’s industrial past.
The Twilight Sculpture Garden (or Jardin du Crépuscule) is the creation of artist Glen LeMesurier, who keeps an eye on it from his studio just down the street. Like any garden, its renewal has been the result of patient, caring stewardship. “Transforming this space from a flat and barren space littered with garbage and refuse,” writes the artist, “into a public space that is used by many as a meeting place, a picnic ground or just a place for repose has been a great pleasure to me.”
LeMesurier is a self-taught sculptor who works with salvaged and recycled metal in the tradition of artists such as Jean Tinguely. LeMesurier has a passion for public art and rehabilitating urban spaces. His work can be found all over Montreal, from official commissions to more subversive interventions. For more than two decades he’s tended to the Twilight Sculpture Garden, creating and curating its many inhabitants. Due entirely to his efforts, it’s become a sort of quasi-official city park.
Narrow paths crisscross the garden, which is home to dozens of LeMesurier’s metal assemblages. Some of the sculptures are kinetic, creaking and ringing in the wind. Most are rusted metal, but a few pop with primary colors. With their jagged edges, the works feel whimsically insurgent in the grassy field. Many have openings or windows that frame their surroundings in new ways as you walk around. You might find yourself noticing the nearby railroad tracks, a songbird, another visitor walking a dog. You might come away with a new appreciation of how creative persistence can transform a wasteland into a place of wonder.