Moving Dunes – Montreal’s “Curved” Street Mural

Moving Dunes is a temporary art installation on Montreal’s Avenue de Musée imagined and brought to life by NÓS, a Canadian design firm. As winner’s of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MBAM-Musée des Beaux-Arts) annual selection for this type of exhibition, NÓS created an empirical optical illusion on this busy area spanning from two access points to current exhibitions at the museum. Alluding to the cubist painters who challenged the role of perspective in visual depictions, NÓS conceives Moving Dunes. Elaborating on this concept, they focused on the idea of anamorphosis, a technique that gives a distorted image of the subject represented in a picture when seen from the usual viewpoint but so executed that if viewed from a particular angle, or reflected in a curved mirror, the distortion disappears and the image in the picture appears normal.



For this public installation, the design firm took a whimsical approach to this concept by shaping the street surface in a way that created large undulations that calls to mind the features of a body or a face. They also incorporated a sequence of earthy tones and curvy lines that welcomes the visitor to move about the area and observe how the reflective spheres that have been strategically placed amplify the designs and multiple points of view. As the guests traverse the space, it’s as if the street morphs and shapes are reversed, almost making the terrain come alive. Having to work within the allocated resources available, the fact that the area is a public space with quite a bit of foot traffic, and the need to make it friendly to the needs of a busy area NÓS and Moving Dunes is certainly a captivating street mural that curves our minds and our senses. 


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