New art installations at Evergreen Brick Works address equity in public space
Artists Kristin Li and Logan MacDonald’s new public art projects, part of Evergreen’s Public Art Program, available for viewing online and at the Brick Works
TORONTO, ONTARIO (March 29, 2021) — Evergreen has commissioned two new artworks as part of its public art program — Fruit by Logan MacDonald and Prison Dispatches by Kristin Li. Both works are on display at Evergreen Brick Works, with digital components available online.
In June 2020, Evergreen launched an open call inviting artists’ proposals for new commissions addressing issues of equity in public space. Through a comprehensive selection process with more than 60 applications, the jury — artist Amy Lam, Canadian Art writer and Features Editor Yaniya Lee, and AGO Curator of Indigenous Art, Wanda Nanibush — selected Li and MacDonald’s projects.
“This project aims to open new conversations around the inequities in urban environments and public spaces brought to the fore during the pandemic and in response to global anti-racist protests,” said Kari Cwynar, Evergreen’s Senior Curatorial Advisor. “The selected projects, from Kristin Li and Logan MacDonald, approach issues of equity from very different places, but both highlight the ways in which certain narratives and perspectives continue to be erased from public space and public view in Toronto.”
MacDonald’s Fruit, a collaboration with Ojibwa farmer and Evergreen Lead Hand in Urban Agriculture Isaac Crosby, proposes the pawpaw tree as a monument to Indigenous sustenance. For this work, two Indigenous pawpaw trees have been planted at the Brick Works site in large cedar planters. By re-introducing the fruit-bearing trees, which were once populous across Southern Ontario, Fruit attempts to reclaim the land as an engagement site for Indigenous people. The installation also highlights the historic and ongoing restrictions Indigenous people face regarding access to traditional lands, trade routes and sustenance. Viewers can see the installation on site, or watch a video about its creation online.
Li’s Prison Dispatches seeks to draw attention to the lives of incarcerated people across Ontario, challenging the spatial logic of the carceral system which maintains social order by removing people from common environments and from the public eye. Li has created a vinyl map displaying prisons and detainment centres across the province. Available for viewing at the Brick Works site, the physical map is accompanied by an interactive webpage featuring detailed accounts of life in each institution. The website is a living document, presenting prisons as places where people’s lives are happening simultaneously to life on the outside, as opposed to a distant margin beyond which incarcerated people simply disappear from view. Find more information about the website here.
MacDonald and Li’s works brings forward important voices and stories that have often been silenced in Canada’s public spaces. Their works can be viewed on the west side of the Brick Works site and engaged with online, through videos and Li’s interactive map.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Logan MacDonald is an artist, curator, writer, educator and activist who focuses on queer, disability and Indigenous perspectives. He is of European and Mi’kmaq ancestry, and identifies with both his Indigenous and settler roots. Born in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, his Mi’kmaq ancestry is connected to Elmastukwek, Ktaqamkuk. His artwork has been exhibited across North America. He is a graduate from Concordia University with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies and an MFA in Studio Arts from York University. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective.
Kristin Li was born in Chengdu, China, and currently works in Toronto and Montreal. Li’s work has been shown globally, including screenings at Oberhausen (Germany), National Contemporary Art Museum Bucharest (Romania), Cinémathèque quebécoise (Canada), MIX NYC (USA), Videoformes International Digital Arts Festival (France), Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (Romania), Cinemateca de Curitiba (Brazil), Winnipeg Cinematheque (Canada), Laceno d'Oro (Italy) and Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen (Canada). Li is currently pursuing an MFA in Film Production at York University.
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About Evergreen: Evergreen is dedicated to making cities flourish. Since 1991, the national not-for-profit has been hard at working transforming spaces into great places so that communities can thrive.
Evergreen Public Art engages artists and partners to present a series of temporary, site-specific public art projects at Evergreen Brick Works and through Toronto’s ravines.
For more information visit www.evergreen.ca
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