Colonization

Submitted by Floyd Elzinga

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Client: Brookfield Place Toronto

Location: TORONTO, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $175,000

Project Team

Artist

Floyd Elzinga

Art Consultant

Clyde Wagner

PVW Art

Client

Franca Bellasario

Brookfield Place Toronto

Overview

"Colonization" was a temporary exhibit that energized an iconic space in the heart of downtown Toronto. This installation included 21 of Floyd Elzinga’s pinecones (made of solid weathering steel) 18 of which were suspended using aircraft cable from the structural architectural webbed ceiling framework. The footprint of the installation was over 6000 square feet but energized the entire space.

Goals

Brookfield Place Toronto provided the opportunity to have an artistic intervention in the Allen Lambert Galleria , Toronto to celebrate Earth Day. The space is large and any gesture in that space needs to be grand enough to hold its own within this "crystal cathedral of commerce". Responding to the architecture of Santiago Calatrava's parabolic arched roof as postmodern forest made of steel in the city it was a simple extension of that metaphor to have oversized pine cones floating in this space. "Colonization" compares the aggressive and innocuous nature of seeds and highlights their potential. Themes of environmental destruction and manipulation run throughout the work, while the beauty of the urban forest creates hopefulness towards a cooperative future where modern life and environmental mindfulness collide.

Process

This venture was made possible by Brookfield Place Toronto who regularly include public art installations in the space. PVW Art consultants provided the curation, logistics and installation support to bring this installation to fruition. Floyd Elzinga provided the vision and the sculptures. Each group (or individual) had ample autonomy in their individual area of expertise but it was the collaboration of client, curator and artist that made this project successful on several levels. There was a common cooperation in the process from the initial meetings discussing the proposed idea to the realization of the project including the installation process of hanging and placing each pine cone.

Additional Information

Floyd Elzinga’s work and practice connects to themes of nature and the environment from a place that is deeply rooted in Canadian artistic traditions. Highlighting and glorifying three dimensional sculptures, relief work, and environmental installations for the past 20 years, Elzinga creates objects from nature – pine cones, leaves and trees – out of solid steel. His technique morphs an unrelenting material into intricate natural forms. His sculptures represent the natural environment, which always seeks to thrive, regrow, and renew. Public installations can be seen at several locations around North America. For more information go to www.floydelzinga.com