Words by Julia Eskins
Photos by Aleyah Solomon
Marking its 10th anniversary, Nuit Blanche lit up Toronto once again for an all-night celebration of Canadian and international artistic talent. Running from sunset on Oct. 3 to sunrise on Oct. 4, this year’s festival hosted 110 projects created and performed by nearly 400 artists. From stunning light displays to interactive exhibits, we checked out the most interesting installations in Toronto’s downtown core.
A giant inflatable cave isn’t a common sight in Toronto’s financial district, but it should be. Drake One Fifty and curator Che Kothari brought to life an interactive sculpture by LA-based collective, FriendsWithYou. Viewers were invited to walk through the 55 x 25 x 14 ft. semi-translucent installation that celebrated light, colour and energy.
Stroll through Nathan Phillips Square and you’re bound to pass countless strangers but for Nuit Blanche, Paris-based street artist JR took it to a whole new level. Paying homage to the “anonymous” people that make up a city, JR took over City Hall with the interactive Inside Out: Face to Face to Face project featuring black and white images of anonymous faces.
Amanda McCavour, Pattern Study - Union Station
For her large-scale textile installation, Toronto-based artist Amanda McCavour explored the textures and life cycles of the fabrics we wear. By walking through the hanging fibre collage made of fabrics donated from the H&M Garment Collecting Program, viewers were encouraged to ponder how textiles are recycled, reused and reimaged.
Sean Martindale, JP, There Is No Away - City Hall
Attributing the title to ecologist Barry Commoner’s “Everything must go somewhere” law, There Is No Away sheds light on waste management. The sculptural installation by Sean Martindale aims to raise awareness of the astounding amount of garbage sent to landfills and its impact on our environment.
Katy Chey, Park Here - Underground City Hall Parking
With the rarity of green urban spaces, Katy Chey’s Park Here installation was a breath of fresh air. The project transformed City Hall’s underground parking garage into a parkette filled with trees and foliage. The Toronto-based architect wanted to make people realize the importance of green spaces in modern, sustainable cities.
Luis Jacob, Sphinx - Allan Gardens
Sharing space with the lush vegetation in Allan Gardens, Luis Jacob's Sphinx exhibit consists of a classical-style sculpture depicting a headless man walking in mid-stride. Surrounding him are tables displaying 50-year-old publications about Toronto. The thoughtful installation by the Toronto-based multimedia artist and curator is meant to raise questions about the rapid development of Toronto and invite viewers to ponder the city's history and future.