Today we focus on the upcoming public art project at The Yorkdale Condominiums and The New Lawrence Heights. This new work will be titled “The Hanging Gardens” and is designed by Toronto artist collective Public Studio. Located underneath and alongside the Allen Expressway underpass, The Hanging Gardens will animate an otherwise dark space and prominently greet commuters coming and going from the adjacent TTC Yorkdale subway entrance.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were counted as one of the “seven wonders of the world” but to this day it is uncertain if they were actual or a myth. Regardless, they symbolized a feat of engineering technology brought together with the natural world. Their significance as a utopia and place that hovers between fictitious and real, inspired this new work presented here. The Hanging Gardens is a project that engages the worlds of video gaming and ecology as a way to enter a community in transition. In unstable times, we turn to utopias as daring ways to imagine futures that seem impossible.
Two components make up the work The Hanging Gardens: The first, Chroma Key, is a lenticular video wall sculpture composed of LED screen columns alternating with columns of planted green wall. The video work on the screen will be developed together with youth in the community who will build the content, and the living wall will be planted together with community members of all ages. The plants in the green wall will grow via the LED lights of the screen. The location of the work is in the underpass lighting the way to the TTC.
The second piece Multiplayer is also a lenticular sculpture composed of mirror columns alternating with columns of planted green wall. Multiplayer, borrows its name from video games in which more than one player plays a game – it is in fact a community that plays together. This work acts as a gateway piece to the new development and is meant to reflect the community around it and respond to how people experience their place in the world. Like a community, the green wall will shift and change with time. The green wall in both works will be planted by the community providing a sense of ownership and place.
For more information on The Hanging Gardens and Public Studio, visit: https://www.publicstudio.ca/