Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto ON
Watersheds form paths for the flow
of energy across Earth’s surface. All living things are connected through the life-giving waters that they share. This installation
asks us to consider our relationship to watersheds in the context of cities and
the urban environment.
Watershed Consciousness invites site visitors to orient
their sense of place to the city's watershed. In the work, Toronto’s majestic ravine system is expressed by living wall interrupting steel sheets that interpret the urban pad.
To consider this installation as a map is to confront the
city's ecological essence.
Within the artwork, information about the urban grid is minimized. Copper and brass lacing across the steel surface represent the city's predominant road and rail arteries. Etched into the steel sheets are ghostly lines that track the lost rivers of Toronto - waterways buried long ago by urban development. At the top of the sculpture is a water troft, below which suspends a perforated steel sheet shaped to reflect the
Oak Ridge Moraine, which is where the watershed begins.
With a century old industrial building behaving as a borrowed backdrop, stainless steel pipes accurately depict the delicate route of tributaries that stretch high above Toronto and into the city. The pipes hover in open space to extenuate the tenuousness of the water table in an ever changing landscape.
In growing seasons, water flows through the installation – traversing down the various steel surfaces and irrigating
the plants before being collected in a tray at the base and recirculated back into the sculpture. In this way, the installation is a living work that looks and behaves differently in each season – growing and hibernating, rusting and cleansing, as it responds to the changing conditions of
weather and environment.