It’s been another productive week at MERGE. We want to offer a special thanks to Mark Hersey, Jason Hardy and the team from Solid Rock Fencing for their special attention to detail and careful installation of the 623 colourful acoustic panels. This project is starting to transform the landscape and has already made a huge difference in reducing the traffic noise level in the neighbouring Lynnmour community.
It is all coming together very nicely and everyone is excited to see the wall complete in the next few weeks.
MERGE (Lynnmour Sound Wall – 2021), will feature twenty naturalistic colours which represent a selection of local flora, fauna and landmarks specific to the Lynnmour community and area. Merge stands at 4m tall and spans 356m along the newly reconfigured section of the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1) between Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing and Lynn Creek. The acoustic dampening, sound wall sits between the highway and the residential neighbourhood along Keith Road and is clad in colourful powder-coated aluminum panels. The panels have been carefully configured to produce a giant, site-specific spectrum designed to be viewed by both passing traffic and residents in nearby communities.
On the anniversary of our COVID-19 life, we want to share some feel good news from 2020. With proceeds from the sale of “Come Together” (2020), we were able to donate back to the St. James Town Community Corner, near TTC Sherbourne subway station. “Come Together” is a bespoke, glazed ceramic tile mosaic (0.6m x 2.0m) commissioned by Louis Vuitton.
“Come Together” (2020) glazed ceramic tile mosaic (0.6m x 2.0m) Louis Vuitton. Yorkdale, Toronto.
The St. James Town Community Corner was one of the hosts to the original community pattern-making workshops that Spacemakeplace held in 2018 to gather pattern inspiration for the TTC mosaic. The donation from Spacemakeplace will be used in a program that offers employment to local refugee women to prepare meals for the elderly and vulnerable in the community over the COVID-19 crisis.
Store designers for Louis Vuitton contacted Rebecca last spring interested in acquiring a new work to be included in the Louis Vuitton international art collection. “Come Together” (2020) is displayed alongside new artworks by Toronto-based street artist BirdO, and Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, at the new Louis Vuitton Canadian flagship store located in Yorkdale Mall, Toronto.
Thanks to FORSTER and Rainer Kraft from Kraft Consulting for their recent photos of the colourful acoustic panels that have now been fabricated at Forster’s factory in Waidhofen, Austria. Later this summer (2021) these panels will be installed along side 356m of Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1) between Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing and Lynn Creek in the District of North Vancouver.
The public artwork, MERGE, will feature twenty naturalistic colours representing a selection of local flora, fauna and landmarks specific to the Lynnmour community and area. The ~620 powder-coated aluminum panels have been carefully configured to produce a giant site-specific spectrum designed to be viewed by both passing traffic and residents in nearby communities.
After two long weeks at the end of October 2018, working through day and night, we are very happy to announce that “The Whole is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts“, formerly referred to as the Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic, is complete and open to the public at TTC Sherbourne in Toronto, ON.
We are very proud of the finished artwork. “The Whole is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts” is a series of 39 ceramic tile mosaic panels located throughout TTC Sherbourne station at the main entrance, Bloor Street concourse, both East and West bound platforms, and the Glen Road Concourse.
Sherbourne Street Concourse.
Each panel is a blend of geometric patterns that we collected from over 450 people from the local neighbourhood at a series of 24 community workshops held in March and April 2018. Kindergarten children to senior citizens who contributed over 700 unique triangle patterns to this public art project and this project is dedicated to them and the vibrant communities that merge together every day at Sherbourne station.
Pattern-making workshop at the Toronto Public Library St James Town Branch, March 2018.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Csaba Bereczki, proprietor of The Tile Setter Company, and his assistant, Marthonee ‘Kim’ Padua, for their tireless effort and professional dedication to making sure that we completed the installation on schedule. It was a near-super human feat and we couldn’t have done it without you!
Csaba Bereczki, proprietor of The Tile Setter Company (right), and his assistant, Marthonee ‘Kim’ Padua (left)
Rebecca priming the columns on the Sherbourne Street Concourse.
After priming the subway tile walls and skimming with thinset, the first sections of the 39 panels are adhered to the Westbound platform.
After every stage of the installation each panel was covered for protection until complete.
Rebecca reviewing the plans.
All work around the main Sherbourne Street entrance had to be completed between 2am and 5am while the station was closed.
Csaba laying the last tile section in thinset.
With a six-car train passing every 4-5mins, working in an active subway station was a challenging environment.
Midnight snack in the storage room.
David removing the face tape from a mosaic on the Sherbourne Street Concourse level.
Rebecca striping the masking tape bordering a mosaic on the Westbound platform.
Csaba and Kim grouting the mosaics at the Sherbourne Street entrance.
Csaba and Kim giving the mosaics a careful wipe down before the final completion.
David and Rebecca with Csaba Bereczki, proudly presenting the completed artwork to representatives from TTC on the final day of installation.
The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic public artwork was commissioned by the Toronto Transit Commission as part of the Easier Access and Second Exit Program.
The 39 mosaic panels are complete! A huge thank you again to Mike Hauner and the whole team at Interstyle Ceramic + Glass for their help and expertise. We look forward to working with them again soon.
Loaded onto a pallet for transportation to TTC Sherbourne the artwork weighs in at 1500 lbs.
Archiving spare tiles in the tile vault
The production of the Sherbourne Community Mosaic panels has gone really well and we have now nearly completed the fabrication phase of the project.
The design of each panel was created by blending together different geometric patterns that we collected from around the Toronto’s Sherbourne community over three weeks in March and April, 2018.
We are very grateful to the ~450 people of all ages (who live, work and go to school within a 5-10 min walk of TTC Sherbourne station) for participating at one or more of the 24 pattern-making workshops. Over 700 amazing triangular tile patterns were contributed to the project – Thank you everyone!
You can find a photo of every pattern on the Sherbourne Community Mosaic Facebook page. ‘Like’ the page to get future project updates.
Approximately 14,000 equilateral triangle ceramic tiles are needed for the Sherbourne Community Mosaic and each one has been hand-made from Earthenglass™, a blend of 100% recycled glass with clay and porcelain.
Twelve different colours of tiles have been specially crafted for this project. These colours were inspired by the paint palette of Canadian painter, Tom Thomson, who at one time had his studio in the Rosedale Ravine, near TTC Sherbourne before the station existed.
Each of the thirty-nine Sherbourne Community Mosaic panels has been fabricated and will be installed in smaller sections. The mosaic panels will be located throughout TTC Sherbourne and cover a total of 400 square feet.
There are up to forty-eight tiles in a section and each tile is laid by hand. We use a template to help copy from the original designs and a special jig that spaces the tiles evenly.
The tiles at the top and bottom rows of each panel are cut in half with a wet saw so that they will fit square.
After each section is face-taped together, it is given an identifying number that references a map of each panel.
The final stage of the fabrication is to carefully pack each section into boxes ready for transport to TTC Sherbourne for installation.
We give our special thanks to Judy Bayer for her generous support. Her hard work, helping to count tiles and piece the panels together, has been greatly appreciated!
The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic public artwork has been commissioned by the Toronto Transit Commission as part of the Easier Access and Second Exit Program.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been completing the fabrication of the approximately 14,000 custom ceramic tiles needed for the Sherbourne Community Mosaic. The final artwork, to be located throughout Toronto’s TTC Sherbourne station, will total 400 square feet in area. The equilateral triangle tiles are hand-made from Earthenglass™, a blend of 100% recycled glass with clay and porcelain and are produced by Interstyle Ceramic + Glass in Burnaby, BC.
We’ve developed 12 bespoke colours for the mosaic tiles that have been inspired by the paint palette of Canadian painter, Tom Thomson.
Thomson once had a studio in the Toronto neighbourhood where the mosaic will be located.
After the tile bisque has been fired once in the kiln the coloured glazes are carefully sprayed onto the triangles. The tiles are weighed to ensure the correct amount of glazing has been applied.
The glazed tile bisque is loaded onto trays ready to be feed into the giant kiln
The giant kiln.
Even though they look delicious these tasty treats are not for eating.
Grey and Red tiles lined up to get fired.
The glazed bisque tiles are then re-fired in the kiln at temperatures over 1,200 degrees Celsius – that’s HOT!!!
The beautiful new ceramic tiles are now ready to be assembled into the Sherbourne Community Mosaic!
Mike Hauner, Partner at Interstyle Ceramic + Glass presenting the first batch of tile bisque.
After months of planning, the Sherbourne Community Mosaic has entered the fabrication phase. The 39 mosaic panels that will form the Sherbourne Community Mosaic will cover 400SF of the TTC Sherbourne Station.
The approximately 14,000 custom ceramic tiles are being produced in Canada by Interstyle Ceramic + Glass in Burnaby, BC. The equilateral triangle tiles are hand-made from Earthenglass™, a blend of 100% recycled glass with clay and porcelain.
In partnership with Interstyle Ceramic + Glass we’ve developed 12 bespoke colours that have been inspired by the paint palette of Canadian painter, Tom Thomson. Thomson once had a studio in the Toronto neighbourhood where the mosaic will be located. The 12 colour glazes match the coloured cardboard tiles that we used in the Sherbourne Community Mosaic pattern-making workshop series held around TTC Sherbourne in April.
To make the tile bisque the clay mix is rolled flat and then cut into equilateral triangles using a custom die.
Unglazed tile bisque.
Inspecting the freshly baked tile bisque.
Custom colour test samples in the glazing ‘kitchen’.
Interstyle Ceramic + Glass, Burnaby, B.C. Canada.
The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic will use a set of 12 colours that are inspired by the palette of iconic Canadian painter, Tom Thomson.
Colour testing by Interstyle Ceramic & Glass of the twelve colours chosen for the TTC Sherbourne Community Mosaic
Thomas John Thomson, painter (born 5 August 1877 in Claremont, ON; died 8 July 1917 in Algonquin Provincial Park, ON). An early inspiration for what became The Group of Seven, Tom Thomson was one of the most influential and enduringly popular Canadian artists of the early part of the twentieth century. His paintings The West Wind (1917) and Jack Pine (1916-1917) are familiar Canadian icons. Thomson was a master colourist.
Thomson was one of the first artists in residence at the Studio Building, located at 25 Severn Street, in the Rosedale ravine immediately east of the above-ground Ellis portal that brings subway trains into and out of the north end of the Bloor-Yonge subway station, a short walking distance from Sherbourne Station. His studio’s site and positioning takes advantage of the northern exposure that illuminates the artist’s canvas with very even, neutral light. Completed in 1914, the nonprofit facility was financed by Lawren Harris, heir to the Massey-Harris farm machinery fortune, and Dr James MacCallum.
Thomson would spend the summers in Algonquin Park and winter at the Studio Building in a refurbished a workmen’s shed on the east side of the building that MacCallum had converted so Thomson could work in an environment closer to his beloved wilderness settings.
Over three weeks in March and April, 2018, we led 24 community pattern-making workshops at seven different venues located within a 5-10 min walking radius of TTC Sherbourne Station. We met with approximately 450 local community members, from kindergarten children to senior citizens, who contributed over 700 unique triangle patterns to this public art project. We are amazed!
Check out all of the pattern design galleries on the Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic Facebook page!
After a brief introduction to the project, participants were invited to create their own triangular patterns by arranging colourful cardboard tiles on special templates. Twelve different colours reference the bold palette of Tom Thomson, a famous Canadian painter who once had a studio in the nearby Rosedale Ravine. When completed, every pattern was photographed and catalogued, and the individual or group of artists were given the opportunity to provide their name to be included on the public artwork plaque as a contributor.
Later this year, ceramic tile mosaics will be installed at multiple locations around TTC Sherbourne Station. The mosaics will be assembled from custom-made tiles, manufactured in Canada from recycled glass. Each tile will be twice as large as the cardboard tiles used in the workshops.
The final mosaic pieces will be inspired by the patterns collected from community members. Parts of individual patterns will be woven together to form new and complex patterns representing the creativity and interconnectivity of the local community.
We greatly appreciate the hospitality, enthusiasm and support that we have received. We would like to give special thanks to those who assisted in hosting the workshops: David Crichton, Rose Avenue Junior Public School; Shabana Sohail, Community Matters Toronto; Simon Storey, Rosedale Junior Public School; Allyson Payne, Branksome Hall School; Suja Selvaraj, St. James Town Community Corner; Suzanne Fernando, Toronto Public Library – St James Town Branch; Rick Lee, Wellesley Community Centre; Jaymie Sampa, 519 Space for Change. Individual pattern-making participants will be acknowledged on a plaque that will be located near the station entrance.
The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic public artwork has been commissioned by the Toronto Transit Commission as part of the Easier Access and Second Exit Program.
April 13, 2017
Anvil Centre. New Westminster, BC.
Thanks to Livable Cities 2017 for inviting Rebecca to talk about her practice and to give a presention on how our surroundings can stimulate our senses and help inform how we identify with a particular place.
“Livable Cities” brings together interdisciplinary research, creative inquiry and city planning methods to explore current city development through sound, smell and other embodied perspectives. Presented by Simon Fraser University and hosted by the City of New Westminster, this one-day symposium will take up various disciplinary approaches, including architecture, community development, and socio-cultural issues. The event will include panels and talks, sensory workshops and sound art presentations. Communities in flux across the Lower Mainland present unique opportunities to engage with city planning strategies, urban densification, and the impact of soundscapes, smellscapes and mobilities on local urban environments.
Join Project Space for their Monthly Open Studio presentation of “Wir Bauen Eine Neue Stadt (We Build A New City),” an exhibition of photographic works based on themes of architecture and urbanism that features artwork by Rebecca Bayer, David Gregory and Ryan Ming. A special edition zine and series of postcards realized for the exhibition will be available.
“Fantasma” is a series by Rebecca Bayer and David Gregory that explores the potential of space beneath Vancouver’s viaduct infrastructure. These images layer a repeated silk-screened pattern, derived from the negative space surrounding the Dunsmuir Viaduct, over alternately processed photographs developed on rag paper.
“Moving on Up” is a series of photographs Ryan Ming has taken throughout Vancouver, documenting various forms of high-rise housing developments built in the 1960s and 70s. The images display an interchangeability in the appearance of raw concrete and geometrics that seem indistinguishable from postwar housing estates in Europe.
REBECCA BAYER is an artist and architectural designer whose work concentrates on ways people interact with the materiality of the city.
DAVID GREGORY is a photographer who focuses on Vancouver as both a subject and a backdrop, addressing ideas concerning public and private space.
RYAN MING is a Vancouver-based writer and artist. His photography examines themes of time, urban fragments and landscape documentation, utilizing a cinematographic approach.