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TWOONE, KWEST, Pillar Murals, Sustainable Cities, 2018, 2019

An artist painting a mural onto the side of a railway pillar
Top image caption: KWEST, Pheonix, 2019, mural, airless sprayer, Evergreen Brick Works, co-presented with Surface Art. Photo: One Day Creative

TWOONE, KWEST, Pillar Murals, Sustainable Cities, 2018, 2019

In 2017, Evergreen launched an outdoor, large-scale mural project showcasing works by artists TWOONE and KWEST on 70-foot-high bridge pillars located at Evergreen Brick Works. The project is presented in partnership with Friends of the Pan Am Path, Surface Art and Evergreen; curated by international artist Emmanuel Jarus; funded by Toronto Foundation; and supported by Metrolinx.

During the summer, project partners launched a public call for submissions for local, national and international artists. The call invited proposals for mural installations responding to the theme of “Sustainable Cities” as interpreted by the artist. Artists were asked to consider narratives connected to sustainable cities including the message of “inclusive, resilient and safe.”

Over two hundred people joined a public event to learn about the project, review submissions, and vote for one of the six shortlisted artists. Through a public open vote, the selected artists included: Berlin-based artist, Hiroyasu Tsuri (TWOONE), and a collaboration between Toronto-based artist, KWEST and LA-based artist, EL MAC. Due to unforeseen circumstances, EL MAC regretfully could not participate, however supported KWEST in moving forward with his work alone.

Bright Future, TWOONE, 2018   

In September 2018, TWOONE’s mural work, Bright Future was completed. TWOONE painted the surface of a 70-foot-tall concrete pillar, located on Bridge 81 in the east parking lot of Evergreen Brick Works. TWOONE’s work came to focus on an aspect of sustainability he describes as “self-healing and fertility; the fertility of nature, of new ideas and of the future”. The piece features a large snake and plants native to the area.

TWOONE, Bright Future, 2018, mural, Evergreen Brick Works,  Photo: One Day Creative

"When you pay attention to the media, it makes the world seem a very tough place, but I’m naturally an optimistic person and I believe if more people became optimistic, more positive things can be done […] When people asked me about it, we’ve had good conversations about the future and what Bright Future means to them” - Hiroyasu Tsuri (TWOONE)

Photo: One Day Creative, 2018

 “I was inspired by the idea of the snake, which is a symbol of fertility and healing in many cultures. I used the garter snake and also goldenrod, which is known for its healing properties. Both are native to the area.” - Hiroyasu Tsuri (TWOONE)

Watch the video below for more information on TWOONE’s creation of Bright Future.

Phoenix, KWEST, 2019

KWEST completed his pillar mural, Phoenix, in Fall 2019. The creative speaks to the abilities of humans to understand our fragile balance with our surroundings, while learning from our past mistakes in a cycle of evolution, back to a harmonious co-existence with nature. Created in partnership with Surface Art, this is the second pillar mural based on the “Sustainable Cities” theme. KWEST describes his mural and what sustainable cities means to him: “To me, the Phoenix represents a new beginning and the [Evergreen Brick Works] location is a reflection of this. A new beginning on finding sustainable ways to move forward. Through innovation we can mitigate our relationship as a city with our natural environment to find sustainable ways to have positive impact and outcome.”  KWEST’s Phoenix, 70’ by 28’, was created with airless sprayer.

KWEST, Phoenix, 2019, mural, airless sprayer, Evergreen Brick Works, co-presented with Surface Art. Photo: @KWEST88

These pillar murals joined The Pull of the Land which was created by Faith XLVII at Evergreen Brick Works in 2013. Together these murals have succeeded in creating new, place-based art inspired by urban sustainability, connecting local and international artistic voices, elevating emerging talent, and developing innovative approaches to collaboration and public engagement.

The murals face Bayview Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway, and have been viewed by tens of thousands of commuters daily.
This project has been made possible through generous support from Pan Am Path, and Metrolinx.

This project has been made possible through generous support from Pan Am Path, and Metrolinx.

Artist and Collaborators Biographies

TWOONE

Hiroyasu Tsuri (釣 博泰 Tsuri Hiroyasu, Born 26 February 1985 in Yokohama, Japan) is a contemporary artist whose work consists of painting, sculpture, installation, performance art and sound. Hiroyasu is also well known as TWOONE for his large-scale mural works around the world. At the age of 18 Hiroyasu moved to Melbourne, Australia, where he lived, played, and started painting a lot on the streets as well as exhibiting his works in galleries and museums. Since 2014 Tsuri has been based in Berlin, Germany, where he continues to experiment with materials and mediums and push his art to new levels. His artworks have been acquired by The National Gallery of Victoria and by the City of Yarra, Australia as part of their permanent collections.  

KWEST

Born and raised in Toronto, KWEST’s early artistic practice led to him being known for painting some of the most complex and largest graffiti art in Canada. As he moved into a fine art practice, he became a key pioneer in the fusion of graffiti and sculpture, approaching public art opportunities holistically as a self-taught fabricator and designer. Creating ownership of the work within the community is at the core of his public art practice. Having produced work in the public realm for over 25 years, KWEST has a vast array of experience and understanding in engaging the people and organizations directly linked to the geography of the installation. For 2021, KWEST has been awarded StreetARToronto's first Art Over Bridges public art project which will see his sculptural design installed on a pedestrian bridge over a major Toronto expressway. In December 2019, KWEST was inducted into the Museum of Graffiti in Miami, Florida. For Toronto's Nuit Blanche 2017, KWEST collaborated with Drake music producer, Noah “40” Shebib in an interactive sculptural installation, “TRUTH”, at Yonge and Dundas Square. In 2021, "TRUTH" will deepen its engagement and build on its original intent to stand with and support the global Black Lives Matter movement with localized content as a mobile interactive sculpture that travels to different Toronto neighbourhoods.

Emmanuel Jarus

Emmanuel Jarus is a Canadian-born artist and muralist inspired by the visual human experience. His work reimagines how art can exist in public spaces. For the past 10 years, Jarus has been working with communities across Canada and around the globe to produce large- scale portraits and figures among other images on wall surfaces. They can be found within major cities as well as across rural settings. He has had notable international recognition as a contemporary muralist and figurative painter. It is Jarus' mission as an artist to observe life, interpret and visually reflect these experiences through his mural work. Allowing space for the mural to organically create itself takes precedence as the site's surroundings primarily inform the mural content. A combination of acrylic, latex and aerosol paint is used to create representations of the people and landscapes he’s inspired by along his travels.

Surface Art

Surface Art is an incorporated not for profit organization that seeks to preserve, exhibit, and produce street and graffiti art of historical, cultural and educational significance. Surface Art produces large-scale mural projects with celebrated local and international street and graffiti artists in Toronto and across Canada.