A T.O. chim­ney that sounds like cor­morants

New Living City art pieces in­spired by our city’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment by Macken­zie Pat­ter­son

Bayview Post - - News -

Ev­er­green Brick Works is known for all the clever ways it brings to­gether art, ur­ban cul­ture and the en­vi­ron­ment. Now, through a part­ner­ship with Toronto and Re­gion Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity and Crazy Dames, seven artists have cre­ated orig­i­nal art pieces in­spired by dif­fer­ent themes from the Living City Re­port Card.

The re­port card was cre­ated to track the progress of ur­ban sus­tain­abil­ity prac­tices in the area through seven themes — wa­ter, car­bon, air qual­ity, bio­di­ver­sity, land use, waste and col­lab­o­ra­tion — and it served as the ini­tial premise for the artists’ pieces. The artists also had an op­por­tu­nity to con­sult with an en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­pert dur­ing the cre­ation of their work to bridge the gap be­tween art and sci­ence.

Jo Flatt, se­nior project man­ager of pol­icy and part­ner­ships at Ev­er­green, says one of the aims of the ex­hibit was to get the pub­lic en­gaged in ur­ban is­sues like sus­tain­abil­ity.

“It’s things like car­bon and wa­ter and bio­di­ver­sity and air — as a statis­tic and a num­ber they can kind of lose their im­pact,” Flatt says. “Art as a medium is a crit­i­cal way to get peo­ple to un­der­stand, feel and re­spond in new and unique ways, but also we in­form the art by facts.”

Tak­ing th­ese facts and is­sues into con­sid­er­a­tion, each artist has cre­ated a unique piece to show­case his or her theme. For ex­am­ple, artist Cole Swan­son’s is­sue was land use, so he de­signed an iron gate on top of the chim­ney in the Ev­er­green Chil­dren’s Gar­den.

“For the land use one, Cole Swan­son has done a beau­ti­ful iron gate, and in it, he has cor­morants made out of this sort of iron me­tal, and you can hear the sound of the cor­morants com­ing out of the chim­ney,” Flatt says. “It’s ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic and it’s go­ing to be a long-term in­stall on the site.”

Al­though art has been con­sid­ered a change maker in so­ci­ety for cen­turies, Flatt be­lieves this is just the be­gin­ning for sus­tain­abil­ity prac­tices in the city.

“This is kind of a jour­ney and some­thing we need to see as part of our life’s mis­sion. We will never reach a point where there’s noth­ing more we can do and then we can stop,” she says.

The Living City Art Ex­hi­bi­tion, at Ev­er­green Brick Works runs un­til Dec. 31.

Two works from the Living City Art Ex­hi­bi­tion on this month

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