Site Specific: Waterfront Toronto Commission 2015


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Site Specific

A Public Artwork commissioned by Waterfront Toronto

Artist Team: Scott Eunson & Marianne Lovink

June 2015

For Site Specific, Scott Eunson and I have endeavored to create a visually complex artwork that traces the history, geography and habitation of the site location (Sumach Street at Eastern Avenue in Toronto) from pre-history to present day. This concept is presented as a timeline-based visual narrative via two complimentary layers of delicate and evocative silhouette imagery cut from Corten and Stainless Steel.

The silhouette patterns have been derived from a variety of image sources including: site photographs, historical images and paintings, related stories, maps, and archeological artifacts, among others.

Rather than simply presenting images in a linear format to illustrate each period in the story timeline, the image sources have been abstracted into patterns that are layered and woven together to form a complex visual tapestry. Clearly recognizable elements remain as clues to the story, but variations of scale, density, and context help create a piece that is unique in its style of storytelling. The central focus of the timeline narrative is the historical significance of the site as the home of Lucie and Thornton Blackburn – refugee former slaves from Kentucky – who started Toronto’s first taxicab company in 1837 and whose lifelong struggle against slavery was an inspiration to many.