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NEWS: Light sculptures appear on Bloor (Apr. 2021)

May 12th, 2021 · No Comments

BIA pays homage to its many food establishments during COVID

The colourful strainers and colanders catch the eye during the day and vibrate unique mandela effects during the night. This cylinder artwork can be found lighting up the new parkette on Brunswick Avenue at Bloor Street West MARY AN/GLEANER NEWS

By Mary An 

If you find yourself walking down Bloor Street and suddenly entranced by a pile of colanders, it might be time to stop and consider that you’ve effectively engaged with a piece of interactive art. There are now three different colander columns on Bloor Street to choose from, located at the new parkettes on Brunswick Avenue, Robert, and Major streets. Each column has multiple strainers inside as well as a light bulb to highlight the impacts of independent restaurants in a year when many have lost business or been forced into closure. 

“We’ve been able to make an artwork that speaks to the challenges faced by local restaurants – that brings life and light back into kitchen equipment,” says artist Layne Hinton.

The use of kitchen materials highlights food establishments in the Annex area. This installation can be found on Major St. at Bloor St. W. MARY AN/GLEANER NEWS

Hinton and her partner, Chris Foster, worked on the project with the Bloor-Annex BIA and Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space (STEPS) to activate the new parkettes and encourage people to get outside and engage with art. This light art installation is the first interactive kinetic sculptural artwork to be promoted by the BIA.

“We were looking at it as starting a conversation about what’s happening to restaurants, post-COVID or during COVID,” said Melanie Ramsay, project administrator of the Bloor-Annex BIA. “We’re looking to build strong relationships and partnerships with art service organizations and artists going forward so that we could have more stuff like this.”

Each sculpture has a lightbulb inside it, so is best experienced after dusk. 

Originally, the art was proposed for January during the winter months as the night would be longer than the day, but the installation date was moved to March – just in time for patios to open temporarily. 

According to the artists, there is a “satisfying variety in the world of strainers,” because of the shadows they create against the concrete. 

“As the light bulb moves up and down, it casts all these different shadows and patterns. There’s these unique mandala patterns that happen,” says Hinton.

Foster adds that they experimented with many different kitchen materials, including pizza pans, but landed on strainers as the best fit as they constrained the space inside of the artwork.

“There’s this cinematic quality that happens with light and motion that makes it captivating,” says Foster.

The interactive art sculptures at the new parkettes will be removed by the last day of May.


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