As We Gather
Learn about this public artwork that depicts a flock of birds inside the Clayton Community Centre.
Artist: TJ Grewal
Location: Clayton Community Centre (18680 72 Avenue)
Category: Civic collection
Year Installed: 2021
About As We Gather
As We Gather is a subtle reflection on community, co-operation, and a commitment to the environment. It depicts a flock of birds, but looking closely, it is revealed the birds are different local species, pulling together to get where they are going despite their differences. Upon even closer inspection, it is possible to see that the birds are filled with hundreds of tiny handprints – a reminder that a community is made up of unique individuals whose hard work contribute towards a common goal.
The flock also represents to biodiversity of the wildlife that surrounds the Centre. Grewal writes, “Living in Clayton Heights, there’s a lot of bird watching to do…I wanted to incorporate birds into the designs as a reminder to respect the environment we live in. It’s not only for us…” This sentiment is embodied in the Clayton Community Centre’s status as a certified Passive House – a maximum energy efficient building with a greatly maximized energy efficiency that reduces its impact on the surrounding natural ecosystem.
Located inside the Clayton Community Centre, visible from the front doorway, this artwork acts as both functional privacy screen for the users of the gym, as well as a beautiful and meaningful image for all to enjoy.
About the Artist
TJ Grewal has lived in Clayton since 2004 and has always called Surrey home. Grewal is a multi-media artist primarily focused on drawing, image manipulation, and photography, painting, working with wood carvings, and metal sculpting. He is a member of SOFIA Collective, a south-of-the-Fraser inter-arts collective. He has participated in multiple local arts initiatives, including at the Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey Urban Screen, and FUZE Festival at Vancouver Art Gallery. He was on the youth advisory committee for the City of Surrey for two years and is committed to helping local youth get involved in the arts. He is also a musician who has collaborated with Grammy-nominated artists on their records and album covers.