Responding to sites around
the world through works
created in site specific
installation, intervention, ephemeral sculpture,
painting & drawing.
to work in different
in the world, creating
site-specific works in
response to the land.
on the above photo
to take a closer look
University of Toronto,
I was invited to participate in the Environmental Studies Association
of Canadas Ninth Annual Conference taking place at the University
of Toronto in May 2002. I was asked to create a site-specific work in
response to the campus and was given an installation space inside Woodsworth
The U of T has a long history of being on its current site and has some
interesting land elements within the campus. It isnt a closed
campus its actually a series of buildings integrated and set
throughout a downtown area. Philosophers Walk curves its way between
Hoskin Avenue and Bloor Street and is only a few blocks from Woodsworth
College. Taddle Creek once ran along the bottom of Philosophers
Walk and there have been many attempts made by environmentalists to have
it converted back to a creek from a sewer.
I walked along Philosophers Walk for a few days as well as through
other sites on campus before deciding that it not only echoed the long
hallway space I was working in, but also was an area that viewers could
come to and forget that they were in a city at all. Over the course of
a few walks, I gathered natural materials along the walkway and clippings
from a variety of trees that line and shelter the pathway.
I could leave no marks behind in the exhibitions space - no nails, glue,
or tape. I had to take advantage of the large benches that were placed
against the wall down the length of the hall. There was a space between
the seat and wall that allowed nine individual strips of spruce to be
slid between the wall and bench. A small clear water filled vial was attached
to the top of each of the strips which held the clippings taken from the
trees lining the hallway with green, reminiscent of the actual
walkway. Viewers were given the opportunity to study each tree clipping
in a much more intimate manner than they could have at the site itself
and were encouraged to take an even closer look with magnifying glasses.
The long line of tree clippings led the viewer to a large window at the
end of the hallway. The window became the support for the actual spiral
made of natural materials collected along the site. The spiral was made
up of 72 small suction cups attached to the window with fishing line used
to attach the natural materials to the cups. Each piece metamorphosed
as it sat in the window: dandelions flowered and turned to seed while
leaves changed colour.
Viewers were given directions on how to find Philosophers Walk from
Woodsworth College. This work was installed for five days and the spiral
slowly began to disappear, piece by piece.