Monday, June 27, 2022

Photographing Public Art Challenge

June 2022 - Toronto ON

The City of Toronto requires that one per cent of the budget of every major new building be put toward the creation of a piece of art to adorn and improve the space it inhabits. It is up to the developers and their art consultants to find artists whose works will flush out some soul in amongst all the glass and concrete.

Francisco Gazitua has become a favourite of Toronto developers, with pieces of his now gracing developments by Concord Adex, Cityzen and Fernbrook Homes, and CanAlfa. 

The Chilean sculptor's Perpetual Motion, a reference to the industrial past of the area and in particular to the Inglis appliance factory which once stood on the site, was one of Liberty Village's first public art pieces. 
Interrupted by two buildings between them, Perpetual Motion is now joined by Split Rock Gap, a new piece which references time further back than Liberty Village's recent past. Gazitua's own words reveal his inspiration for the new work.
Years ago, while visiting Canada, my dear friend gave me a book of the works of the Group of Seven. Written in his dedication, he wrote that "their paintings still evoke the spirit of the land which is embedded in many Canadian lives."



Structurally, the work is made from painted stainless steel. The 3-tonne structure extends 11 meters high, grounded at a point which splits the load through a great steel ring, embracing a large granite boulder. The 50cm by 50cm ring also serves as seating, with the boulder at their backs.

One of Georgian Bay's iconic wind-shorn pines • Split Rock Gap model at Francisco Gazitua's studio in Chile
Their works, above all the paintings of Thom Thomson, truly capture the nature of the Canadian landscape. My work, Split Rock Gap, refers to these paintings, and their wind-shorn pines. The trees of the Great Lakes are the resilient sentinels of Canada - they rise through cracks in the hard granite of the precambrian shield. They bend and twist and push against the winter winds.

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