"The City's A Green Canvas."
From sculptures that purify water to an art gallery filled with the sounds of bees, Toronto is a hot spot for art that draws attention to environmental issues.
Last summer, several downtown art shows and installations focused on ecological concerns.
Local curatorial agency No. 9 commissioned the collective BGL to anchor a miniature blackened cruise ship in the Don River. Hundreds of students visited the work to learn about water pollution.
Meanwhile, the DeLeon White Gallery hosted a group show, "Disintegration Disintegration," which included Lauren Nurse's Absence Vs Presence, featuringa replica of a broken iceberg.
At the *new* gallery on Queen St. W., artists installed a beehive on the gallery roof. Then they filmed the bees and put a microphone in the hive. The audio and video became part of a work called Bumble Domicile, which coincided with lectures on the importance of local pollinators and the dangers they face.
Since the temperature dropped, green artwork has emerged from different pockets of the city.
Artist Gareth Bate is on his way to becoming a YouTube hit thanks to a video of his performance piece Penance, showing the artist painfully crawling along Queen St. with a large piece of grass on his back. On his website, Bate explains the work represents an act of self-punishment "for the guilt of environmental destruction."
At the Corkin Gallery, a current show by Iain Baxter& includes the work Zero Emissions, which features nine taxidermied animals sitting atop stainless steel mufflers. The gallery website notes that the work is "an ominous reminder of the impact car dependency has on the natural world."
Cars on the Don Valley Parkway may receive a similar message from Noel Harding's The Elevated Wetlands. Installed a decade ago, the six molar-shaped sculptures detoxify water from the polluted Don River using a solar pump, waste plastic and special vegetation living in the sculptures.