In 2001, artist Tristan Surtees and architect Charles Blanc, established the collaborative Arts practice Sans façon. Over the last 14 years, Sans façon has continued to explore the relationship between people and places through their art projects. They work internationally on projects ranging from ephemeral performances and permanent pieces in public spaces, to developing and implementing strategies involving artists in the rethinking and re-qualification of specific places.
The majority of their work renews awareness and tempts interaction with the surroundings and is developed in close collaboration with communities, organizations and individuals including City councils, scholars, theatre companies, architects and composers. They like to see the role of the artist and of art as a catalyst in a process of raising questions and inviting one to look and think differently. They aim to create work that can be valued, not solely as product but for what it reveals, what allows to be seen, enjoyed and thought about.
In 2011, Sans façon moved to Calgary to establish WATERSHED+, a city-wide program for the City of Calgary to renew the relationship between citizens and watershed. Its guiding motive is to embed, not so much the artist, as their creative process within Water Services core activities and the Calgary watershed. Artists and artistic practices are participating as members on infrastructure design teams, contributing to project design, development of events, community education and communication to enhance the public’s perception of the natural and man made watershed, generating an emotional connection for Calgarians.
WATERSHED+ is held internationally as an example of best practice in integrated arts practice.
For more information, see their website here.