Broken Forests – High Park Installations

#1. Norma Vieira – resurgence

Resurgence invites you to reflect upon the devastation of forests and climate change, which have been happening in all parts of the world, alongside global warming. Storms, floods, hurricanes and all sorts of natural phenomena have been occurring with unprecedented intensity, causing damage to the ecosystem and to human, plant and animal life.

“Resurgence is the force of the life of the forest, its ability to spread its seeds and roots and runners to reclaim places that have been deforested”

Norma Vieira, Bachelor of Arts in Languages by the Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás, is a visual artist born in São Paulo and rooted in Campinas. Through the poetical exploration of various types of materials and processes, including thermal metallic aspersion, she makes use of the image as a vehicle to convey her reflections on human beings and their relation with the world and the environment. She intervenes with those images through the utilization of digital drawings. Additional techniques employed are engraving, painting, photography and video.     Intagram: @normavieira

#2. Joey Bruni – the cocoon project

The Cocoon Project began in 2012 as a response to the decline of pollinators like the monarch butterfly and native bee populations due to the loss of natural habitat and chemicals being used in the environment.

The original cocoon sculptures were created to contain native wildflower and milkweed seeds in a package that would biodegrade over time to help restore the area it was placed in. Over the years The Cocoon Project has evolved into a sculptural conversation starter to highlight the importance of pollinating insects and our relationship to the environment we share.

Without caretakers to intervene the sculptures you see here will begin to biodegrade over the period of this art show. This will allow viewers to witness the degrading effects we have on nature when we treat it as something separate from us rather than of an ecosystem that we are a part of.

Joey Bruni is a multidisciplinary artist that works in graphic arts, drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. As a graduate of a three-year Graphic Arts program at Durham Collage his style was developed through various art and design classes. He gained an appreciation for the artistic side of graphic design from being among the last year of students taught the traditional “Cut & Paste” method of graphic arts.  Instagram: @joeybruni_art

#3. Donald Cretien – DEer Skull Root Exposed

The unique style and impact of Aboriginal fine artist Donald Chrétien springs from his combined passion for colour and woodland-style expression. His ongoing exploration of his heritage has him concentrating on distinct features of Ojibwe clans acrylic on canvas.

His works are exhibited in some of the most interesting corners of North America. His Vancouver Olympics installation piece, titled: Ngashi Nijii Bineshiinh or Mother, Friend, Small Bird, is on permanent display in Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum and stands 12 feet high by 80 feet long.

#4. EarnEst Daetwyler – The Turkey Boat and The Witch Boat

The Turkey and The Witch Boat is an installation located at the damaged, broken black oak tree in front of the High Park Nature Centre, Toronto. Two boat-like structures, created from driftwood collected on Lake Huron create an immersive, environmental environment. A sense of urgency is communicated by the location, the tree, the very nature of the boats created and its material, driftwood, marked by the sun, the seasons, turbulent waters, memories of time and ancient forests.The project  refers to climate change, the global pandemic, existential crisis, war and conflict – the illusion of being all in one boat.

The Swiss-Canadian sculptor/installation artist Ernest Daetwyler studied at the Schule für Gestaltung in Bern, Switzerland, the Centro Europeo in Venice, Italy and received his master diploma from the Schule für Gestaltung in St. Gallen, Switzerland. His idea and concept based, multidisciplinary exhibitions and public interventions/art projects are being presented in Canada and internationally. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, Presence Suisse, the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) 2010 Exhibition of the Year Award, the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, the Arts Award Waterloo Region in Visual Arts and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, N.Y.

Instagram: @ernestdaetwyler

#5. T,H & B – Deposit: Loan (Hamilton Harbour to Chedoke Radial Trail to High Park)

Beginning its journey as a granite boulder found along the shoreline of Hamilton Harbour, in 2017 the team engraved a steel crest on it and transported the boulder across Hamilton, and then up the Chedoke Radial Trail to a spot atop the Niagara Escarpment adjacent to the Bruce Trail. As part of Broken Forest 2022, TH&B has agreed to loan the boulder to High Park as part of its continuing journey. Deposit blurs the boundaries between monument, trail marker, and Sisyphean task.

Appropriating the moniker of a railway that once serviced the Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo rail corridor, the TH&B collective is the creative partnership of Simon Frank, Dave Hind, Ivan Jurakic, and Tor Lukasik-Foss, a group of visual artists working out of Hamilton, Ontario. Collaborating on all aspects of authorship and production, the team develops projects that address the incongruous and often absurd intersections between natural, urban and post-industrial environments.

Website: TH & B     Instagram: @thbcollective

#6. Anne Marie Hadcock – Burls

Anne Marie Hadcock is a contemporary installation artist that constructs her work primarily from fibre-based materials. She situates her work within natural environments and urban green spaces. Landscape has always been central to the portrayal of the Canadian identity and traditionally observed through painting and drawing. Hadcock continues this observation through non-traditional means. She works actively within landscapes to learn about their unique attributes through physical interaction. Hadcock trys to be morally responsible regarding the placement of materials and implement an ecocentric approach. Fibre has the innate abIlity to be morphed into a variety of form and texture through manual processes with minimal tools. The material is lightweight and minimizes the environmental footprint at installation sites. Hadcock’s work resembles anomalous material forms that inhabit nature as opposed to a disruptive intervention. Installations are placed temporarily within a location and removed with no remnants of the work left behind. There is no signage accompanying most projects, as she attempts to position her work symbiotically within nature and assigned authorship defeats this relationship. The forms Hadcock creates are constructed through processes of layering, wrapping, and combining a variety of fibre-based materials into structures that both integrate with and oppose their surroundings. The form of the work resembles natural structures but remains ambiguous, a poetic metaphor for naturally occurring things. Recent work has been placed within national, provincial and municipal parks with guidance from park staff, botanists and naturalists.    

#7. O Honey Collective – Connecting to a City Tree…   Polypore Founts

The O’Honey Collective, David Bobier and Leslie Putnam, propose an installation work for High Park that seeks to dissolve the boundary between the artist and the trees within the park.
By introducing artist made polypore shaped vessels onto trees in High Park, and then encouraging mosses endemic to the area to grow on them, there becomes a collaboration
between the two different species. The symbiosis created by this installation encourages the consideration of where we as humans fit in the forested landscape of a city park.

As creators of objects, o’honey collective encourages public participation through the placing of found natural objects, some encased in wax or string in the polypore founts for the public to “discover”, and documenting objects that might be placed there by passersby. As pedestrians, if we come across something unusual in our daily routine, it creates a shift in our thinking. By placing these partially human made objects in the park, we will create a space for that shift to happen. What are these objects? Are they reverent or irreverent? What or who created them, are they of the tree or placed there by people? How are we to interpret them?

Leslie Putnam            Instagram @lputnaml
David Bobier    Instagram: @vibrafusionlab

#8. Quan Steele – Beetle Art

These hand-made patterns on a fallen tree trunk invites the  viewer experience random trails mimicking those made by beetle larvae.
In nature there is often a war between predator and prey which can be intense and hidden. We never see larvae feeding on the narrow cambium layer of trees, the growing part between the bark and the wood. When we see the exposed feeding trails, the battle is over. The beetles have moved on and the tree has died.  ‘Beetle Art’ is distinctive and beautiful yet destructive and sad. These unique patterns are often overlooked.

Quan Steele is a multi-media conceptual artist located in Toronto. She has participated in solo, group and juried exhibitions in Greater Toronto for over 25 years. She is a member of Neilson Park Creative Center NPCC, Etobicoke Art Group EAG, Artworks Oakville and Ontario Society of Artist OSA. Quan’s work has won numerous awards. Her work includes painting, drawing, sculpting, land art and site-specific installations. Her work is not restricted by size and medium and can be permanent or ephemeral, virtualized, inside or outdoors.  Her subject matter is concerned with the environment, social Interactions and relationship between man and nature.       Instagam: @quansteele_art

#9. Raven Grove Collective -arAchnos: spectre of the forest

Arachno Spirit is a sculpture crafted from found materials, plant life, paper-mache and chicken wire. It embodies the coalescence between abandoned material and biological growth; that which has been discarded becomes revived through new life. This installation piece takes the form of a spider forest god, solemnly existing on its grassy hill. Its stature is meant to interact with light and shadow occurring at different times of the day. The symbol of the spider relates to calmness, as it sits and awaits its prey. Yet this form also implies an intricacy and self-sufficiency, given that the spider both weaves and is woven from discarded material and evolving plant life. Artist Michael Bohonos aims to create a work which incites dialogue between viewers, as well as creating experiences that connect us both with the discarded and decaying, and with the revived and organic.

Ravengrove is an anarchist art collective based out of Toronto, Ontario. The artists working out of this collective specialize in found object art, wax sculpting, and installation pieces. Ravengrove was first developed as a place for like minded artists, musicians and creatives to gather and create art, music, literature, and ideas. The mindset behind this organization is to subvert traditional standards and expectations of art itself, while critically engaging with capitalist media objects. A major goal of the collective is to create spaces for critical thought, creative expression and community.