At This Point — Artist Statement
This artist statement appears in Toronto Sculpture Garden, a catalogue published by Toronto Sculpture Garden.
The waterfall on the site sparked my imagination. Its rapidly flowing waters are mysteriously supplied through the Garden’s east wall and conspicuously disappear into a grate at ground level. Could this be a cunning diversion of an ancient waterway long buried below the urban landscape? A map of 1827 reveals that a river did once flow past this lot. While that river was tamed for purposes of convenience, efficiency, economic value and development, perhaps its staged appearance still reveals an organic structure much larger than human intervention.
At This Point consists of two markers used in the navigation of waterways: a lighthouse and a buoy. The lighthouse is based on the one at Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island. Built in 1806 on a sand spit stretching out into Lake Ontario, today it is located well inland as a result of almost two centuries of landfill projects and storms. It has not been used since 1912. Nevertheless, it serves well to mark the shift in its surrounding landscape. Transported as a scale model to the Garden, the lighthouse signals an even greater shift in the urban landscape. Drawing us near, we can peer into its window and catch a glimpse of what may exist below our world of lived experience. Allowing our imaginations to peel back the layers of time and place, At This Point acts as a residual warning that displaces the ground we stand on.
Panya Clark Espinal
© 1995 Panya Clark Espinal and Toronto Sculpture Garden, all rights reserved