My first exposure to the StART Up program came as I was riding the streetcar along King St. on my way to class at George Brown College. I remember being gobsmacked by the colours that flashed before my eyes. I wasn’t entirely sure what it was that I saw, but I was determined to find out more. So the next week, instead of taking transit, I decided to walk from River Street to my class. When I reached the Adelaide Street underpass, there they were. Four serene faces, rendered in heart stopping colour, were staring back at me. What should be the grubby underside of an everyday urban structure was completely transformed.
It was like walking into an ethereal technicolour oasis. I still get giddy every time I pass under those bridges.
The installation is called Frozen Moments and was created by Essencia Art Collective members: Shalak Attack, Bruno Smoky, and Fiya Bruxa. It is comprised of four pillars. The Past is painted with an image of a turtle recalls native people who lived in the area. It also depicts ships bringing Irish immigrants to the region. The Future shows what a visionary Toronto could look like. The Possibility imagines a child’s potential while The Worker celebrates industry and Corktown’s working class history. The street facing side of each pillar is painted with a person gazing wide eyed and peaceful on the people passing by. Like anything in life, in order to see the deeper meaning of each pillar, you have to go off the beaten path and look at them from a different angle in order to get to know them better.
The title for this piece is a lyric from Bizarre Love Triangle, written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner. It was recorded by New Order and released in 1986.