Spacing’s public art editor Leah Sandals has been a participant in the Vacant Lots exhibition that is running out of the Toronto Free Gallery. Today, Murray Whyte at the Toronto Star wrote a piece on her and partner Samantha Crowhurst’s installation, while Liz Worth wrote about it too in Eye Weekly (scroll down to second article).
From the Star:
Officially, their project, Just Add Water, is part of “Vacant Lots,” an exhibition at the Toronto Free Gallery meant to address the empty, forbidden zones scattered throughout the cityscape. More broadly, though, Crowhurst and Sandals are part of an increasing community of artists for whom the public realm is more than a subject to address: it’s a space to engage, alter and challenge.
From Eye Weekly:
Just Add Water is the duo’s response to the city’s need for green, recreational space. Part of the Toronto Free Gallery’s “Vacant Lots” exhibit, which explores and reacts to vacant lots throughout the city, Just Add Water is the artists’ version of a portable parkette.
Sandals and Crowhurst have been installing their instant parks in various vacant areas throughout the city for a few hours at a time, setting up an inflatable pool, a few lawn chairs, Astroturf, patio umbrellas, a plastic bag full of dried grass and a few dead plants. The proceedings are lent an air of authority as the artists wear white lab coats with the official-sounding acronym “PSI” (for Public Space Ification) stamped onto them.
I will say that one thing is clear from my recent experiments in Public Space Ification: there is no better place for one’s feet to be on a hot sunny day than in 6 inches of solar-heated wading pool water. Preferably in a blue inflatable wading pool. Really. I welcome others to enjoy this concrete-backdropped sensual apex this Saturday for the final installation of “Just Add Water”. It’ll be from 2 to 4pm in front of Toronto Free Gallery, 2 blocks west of Queen and Broadview. It’s the closing day for the exhibition Vacant Lots at the gallery, which our piece is a part of. This show features great public space-related works by Todd Irvine, Valerie Salez, Janis Demkiw, and many other very rad artists. Bonus: We might even do a crossword.