The Illuminated Crowd, Montreal, Canada

JULY 2009 – ‘The Illuminated Crowd’, a sculpture by British artist Raymond Mason, is shown against the reflections of high rise buildings in the city center of Montreal, Canada. Sculpture © Raymond Mason, Photo © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

In downtown Montreal, we found this sculpture by Raymond Mason in front of the glass covered high-rise building of the McGill University. The first glance intrigued me already, but I had seen just the front section of the piece: A leader or guide of sorts points to something in the distance, maybe indicating a goal, as if to say: “this is where we will be going.” He’s got a large group of people – 64 to be precise – behind him. Men, women, children of all ages. Noone looks genuinely happy, not even the leader. Some show a neutral look while others look sceptical. This is the front of the sculpture shown in my photo.

Then I slowly walked around the piece and realized that the people in the back of the group are fighting for their lives, really. The further you move towards the back, the sceptical, neutral mood of the front is being replaced by outright fear and fighting.

It’s a pessimistic, realistic, really thought-provoking, piece of art. And while it is somewhat depressing, it’s awesome at the same time. A great piece of art. (Read a bit more about the piece at

I like my image for the symmetry, the harsh contrast of the warm, light brown sculpture and the cold blue reflections in the back which underlines the gloomy theme of the sculpture.

The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time17-JUL-2009, 15:20
LocationMontreal, Canada
CameraCanon EOS 5D
LensCanon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Exposure1/100 sec at f/16
Digital Image Source FormatCanon Camera RAW (CR2)
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions4368 x 2912 Pixels
CopyrightSculpture © by Raymond Mason,
Photo © by Mark Zanzig/

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