Last month, Waterfront Toronto awarded Berlin-based artists Hadley+Maxwell the third and final public art commission for Front Street East in the West Don Lands. The artists have proposed Garden of Future Follies, a new sculptural work, which will be located on the corner of Front Street East and Bayview Avenue. This section of the new Front Street promenade will form a series of urban rooms that will define the emerging neighbourhood. The sculptures are expected to be completed in 2016 after the Pan/Parapan American Games.
Based on the idea of the fanciful garden and landscape ornaments of 18th and 19th century France and England, this installation will rearrange fragments of existing monuments, sculptures and architecture from all over the City of Toronto to create a series of new sculptures. Hadley+Maxwell’s work takes local monuments and makes them more accessible by bringing them down to street level where they can be celebrated and enjoyed. A series of figural sculptures will be spread across the site, inviting movement and flow and creating a unique pedestrian experience that encourages people to explore and interact with our city’s history.
“The Garden of Future Follies takes to heart this potential for the continual re-interpretation of histories by literally fragmenting, re-forming and re-working existing monuments” said the Canadian-born duo. “We are excited by the challenge to memorialize an ever-changing process of making meaningful relationships [with public sculptures].”
This commission joins two previously announced public art projects along Front Street East, which include Toronto Lamp Posts by artist Tadashi Kawamata and Water Guardians by Canadian artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins.
Hadley+Maxwell have been collaborating since 1997 and have exhibited their work in cities all over the world including Amsterdam, Sydney, Rotterdam and Dublin. Their installations, performances and writings employ diverse media to rework iconic images and traditional forms as they are expressed in pop-cultural, artistic and political movements.
Public Art Strategy for the West Don Lands
The West Don Lands is one of the first neighbourhoods in Canada to integrate public art on this scale from the very early planning stages. This creates the opportunity to strategically align public art with new development projects and public realm improvements. As a result, the strategy for the neighbourhood outlines specific recommendations for conceptualizing, planning and commissioning public art that builds a cohesive narrative for the neighbourhood.
Previously announced public art projects for the West Don Lands include Mirage by Paul Raff Studios, Peeled Pavement by artist Jill Anholt and No Shoes by internationally renowned sculptor Mark di Suvero.
About Waterfront Toronto
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.
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