Bill Pechet’s Watering Garden installation in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park.

Professor Leslie Van Duzer, Principle Investigator, and five collaborators have been awarded a $25,000 Canada Council for the Arts grant for the research phase of a new book: up I dn: works by Bill Pechet. As author, Leslie will situate Bill’s work in a broad context by examining the circumstances of his commissions; the nature of his collaborations with clients, allied professionals, and fabricators; the history of the sites; his influential references; and the challenges of maintenance and inevitable entropy. Bill, SALA Lecturer-in-Practice, will contribute archival material and create new illustrations for the book. Greg Girard’s photographs will capture the gritty reality of works placed in the public realm, while Michael Perlmutter’s photographs will bring the artist’s intentions to the fore. Pablo Mandel, with his keen ability to imagine the presentation of a variegated oeuvre represented by a wide range of graphic material will make a critical contribution from the start as editorial consultant, and later as book designer. With her affinity for Bill’s work and their close relationship, former SALA faculty Thena Jean-hee Tak will serve as the perfect interlocutor for a lengthy interview.

Despite Bill’s extensive body of work, nearly all of which is publicly accessible, he remains little known internationally. This project aims to correct that oversight by extending the collaborative nature of Bill’s own practice to include talent from Europe, South America, the United States, and Canada. With each collaborator free to present their unique perspective on the work, this monograph will be unusually complex and multivalent. A fulsome monograph on the work of Bill Pechet is long overdue. This book will be a rich and joyful celebration of a talented and beloved Canadian who has much to teach us all.