This project is part of I HeART Main Street, a program supporting Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) with the support they need to activate their main streets through public art and placemaking. This program engages BIAs, local artists and businesses across Ontario to create more vibrant and safe communities.
Project Type: Permanent Exhibit
Artist: Gabrielle Lasporte
Artist Statement: This art installation wants you to STOP. Breathe deeply. And be present. Listen to the sounds of the city, the birds chirping, feel the sun shining on you or the wind touching your face. You are here and now. You are part of the universe.
The flower pattern you see surrounded by the waves is called the Kawung motif. The Kawung pattern is one of the oldest motifs used in Batik. It has many symbolic meanings. Its association to the palm blossom indicates purity and honesty, while the palm fruit refers to fertility and hope. There is also a profound philosophy attached to it of universal energy and the sacred origin of human life, longevity and eternal life. The Kawung is also linked with power, wisdom and justice. The simplicity of the design reflects the idea of a structured universe, the visual representation of four directions and the four classical elements of earth, fire, air and water. This pattern has become Gabrielle’s main inspiration in much of her work and visuals. Her interpretation reflects on life, belonging, expansion, acceptance of destiny and the deep appreciation for the greater things continuously at play in a universe that continues to guide us through experiences.
About the BIA: With its origins as an early agricultural tree farm and its role as an industrial centre for the east end, Leslieville has played an important role in Toronto’s history. Thanks to the longstanding support for creative industries, Leslieville has a vibrant arts and culture community. Leslievillers came together to fight against big box retail in the neighbourhood and defend the small business community that thrives on Queen St. East and continue to shop local in this great neighbourhood.
Thank you to our additional supporters!
I HeART Main Street, presented in partnership with RBC Royal Bank and ShowLoveTO produced by the City of Toronto, is generously supported by the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative funded by the Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, funding provided by the Government of Ontario.