Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Please Keep Junk Out of the Valley

Art or Garbage?

This is another one of those appropriate use questions. This thing appeared in the Moore Park Ravine last spring. It is located beside Mud Creek just west of the Brick Works quarry ponds. The piece is obviously constructed and not a random piece of industrial refuse. It is made of some sort of metal about 1cm thick and stands about one metre in height. It is not signed nor is there any indication as to who created it or why is was placed here.

I contacted Sandra Lougheed, the city's curator of public art but she said there is no record of it. In other words, an anonymous person decided that they wanted to install this piece and chose this spot with no public consultation.

I admit to being an admirer of contemporary art and appreciate a well thought out sculpture. If you're looking for good examples of outdoor art you should visit Toronto's Sculpture Garden on King St. East just east of Church St. Opinions on contemporary sculpture vary widely but in my opinion this piece is pretty good. It is well balanced with clean lines and unpretentious.

That said, the thing that bugs me is that it is in the wrong place. The Don is already overburdened with the works of man, eg. highways, railroads, paths, pipelines, etc. The remaining area needs to be left to nature as much as possible, even in an area as degraded as the Moore Park Ravine.

So what should be done with it? At the very least it should be relocated out of the valley. I would suggest moving it to nearby Chorley Park. This is a large 'grass and trees' park in Rosedale and there are several places where it would fit right in. I asked the city if there was a policy on unofficial art installations but received no response. I don't know whether the city can actually 'adopt' it.

So if the city dithers long enough I might just load it into a wheelbarrow and truck it home. I think it would look good in my backyard.


Anonymous said...

I don't see any art here. It doesn't belong. Get rid of this junk.


Anonymous said...

I like it.

Coming on something well thought out is a plus! a surprise!

It should, however, have some authorization and at least a name and the name of the artist.

Ferdzy said...

I think it's very nice. I, too, like the idea of coming on it unexpectedly.

The trouble of course, is as these comments show, nice is in the eye of the beholder. And if I didn't like it, how would I feel about it being plonked in a public space then? Of course it's got coming across the all-too-expected WWI memorials in public parks beat all hollow.

Donwatcher said...

I have an update on this. The NEHS section will post a notice beside this thing asking if anybody knows where it came from. If nobody responds by the end of Feb. 2006 then we will look at removing it.