Building Colour

Submitted by Rachel Pennington

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Client: City of Mississauga

Location: Mississauga, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $300,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Yvonne Monestier

Lafontaine Iron Werks, Inc.

Artist

Panya Clark Espinal

Overview

Building Colour is an artistic component of a major transit project in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The artwork uses a combination of sculptural components made of cast and fabricated bronze, architectural glass, colour changing LED lighting and touch sensitive triggers to engage the public. Building Colour stages the tools and equipment of glass installation, simulating a work site which is momentarily unoccupied by its workers.

Goals

The artwork is intended to engage its audience in a number of ways by giving rise to questions such as: What is happening? Who is making this change? How can we participate in the change taking place? The public is to envision witnessing a change taking place as the predominantly clear glass of the transit stations is being replaced with coloured glass. Throughout the stations various components are scattered, for example, tools of the construction trade like a tool belt and paint cans, alongside personal objects of the workers including a camera and milk carton are scattered on the platform and windowsills. In close proximity to the storage rooms, bronze-cast tools and supplies are made to be touch-sensitive such that the public can influence the colour and pattern of light triggered and the perceived colour for the glass to come.

Process

In 2009, the City of Mississauga Public Art Program partnered with MiWay (a public transport agency serving Mississauga) to commission public art for the stations. A public call for submissions was issued. Through a juried process, artist Panya Clark Espinal was chosen to work with the design and project team to integrate permanent public art into seven Mississauga Transitway Stations: Central Parkway, Tomken, Dixie, Tahoe, Etobicoke Creek, Spectrum and Orbitor.

Additional Information

Panya Clark Espinal is a leading contemporary Canadian artist whose practice includes adopting the multiple roles of painter, sculptor, designer, art historian, archival researcher, and even horticulturist. Through her site-specific installations, exhibitions and public commissions, she brings renewed intimacy to the act of looking while raising questions about issues of authenticity, appropriation, reproduction, collection, and display.