Watershed Consciousness

Watershed Consciousness

30 ft x 50 ft x 4ft

recycled steel, cor-tan steel, stainless steel, perforated steel, copper, brass,  green wall infrastruture, plants, water

Evergreen Brick Works, Welcome Court

Watersheds are areas where all waters drain to a common water body. Watersheds form paths for the flow of energy across Earth’s surface. All living things are connected through the life-giving waters that they share.

This installation is a site specific work that asks us to orient ourselves to the watersheds of Toronto. The organic sensibility of the ravine system that encompass the watershed is expressed in this work by green wall that interrupts cor-tan steel sheets throughout the installation. Conversely, the rusted cor-tan steel interprets the urban pad that surrounds the ravines at every turn. This reflects a negotiation that largely defines the geography and ecology of Toronto.

Considering the size of the work, information about the urban grid is minimal. Presented as copper and brass rods that lace across the work, only the major road and rail arteries are depicted along with the vertical-horizontal axis of Yonge st. and Bloor st. Instead of the repetitive criss crossing of city streets, the piece depicts ghostly homages to the lost rivers of Toronto etched into the rusted steel. To consider this work as a map is to confront Toronto’s ecological essence. “Where is your watershed address?” is the question the installation asks the occupants of the region.

At the top of the sculpture, there is a large water troft, below which suspends perforated steel that is shaped to reflect the Oak Ridge Moraine, which is where the watershed begins. With a century old industrial building behaving as a receded backdrop, sculpted stainless steel pipes depict with accuracy the current route of the tributaries that stretch high above Toronto. The pipes hover in open space to extenuate the delicacy of the water table in an ever changing landscape.

In growing seasons, water flows through the installation – traversing down the various steel surfaces and irrigating the plants before being collected in a tray at the base and recirculated back into the sculpture. In this way, the installation is a living work that looks and behaves differently in each season – growing and hibernating, rusting and cleansing, at it responds to the changing conditions of its environment.

artist/project manager FERRUCCIO SARDELLA metal fabricator COBALT FABRICATION green wall ELT EASY GREEN structural engineer BLACKWELL BOWICK structural steel fabricator EXPO IRON industrial design consultant TED KAWANO green wall planting plan HEIDI CAMPBELL watershed consultants TRCA, LOST RIVERS SOCIETY, JOHN WILSON, PAUL GIFFORD evergreen directors SEANA IRVINE, DAVID STONEHOUSE, GEOFF CAPE


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