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Urban Collection 

Urban Collection is a body of work that has been changing and evolving since 2016.  Within each acrylic box, a collection is hermetically sealed, preserving the collection that the artist has selected from various sites and public spaces within the City of Toronto. Some boxes contain moss colonies at various stages of growth which were selected from various alleyways and laneways, while other contain micro plastics that have been collected along the waterfront. 

This work comments on the human domestication of nature within the city, as well as human behaviour within an urban setting. Creating space for innovation and imagination in a playful architectural lense, while commenting on the urgency for green space and sustainability.


One Time Luxury

Single Use Plastics is a HUGE problem. 40 % of plastics that are made today are made for packaging and single use items, which means they end up in the garbage. Globally less than a fifth of all plastic made today gets recycled. Unfortunately, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year, truly affecting our whole food chain and causing major concerns to all aspects of life on this planet. This sculpture re-invents the way we can work with plastics as a tactile material and a means of creating something new. Speaking directly to the dichotomy between consumption and waste.    


Our City, Our Space

Our City, Our Space is a installation that is meant to comment on how the City of Toronto is laid out and planned, leaving only 13% of land for Public Green Space. This works intention is to create awareness around the necessity and scarcity of green spaces with urban city centres conveyed in a satirical and obserd way. 


Greenwashing

 Greenwashing comments on consumer culture and the choices we make regarding urban planning within city centres. Recently, Toronto has seen an increase within green spaces owned by the city as well as privately owned land that are using astroturf as a low-matenience option for outdoor spaces. However, synthetic grasses have similar affects as pavement and concrete do in urban city centres. These hard surfaces do not allow for proper water drainage, can cause potential hazards and concerns to our ecosystems, as well as retains the suns heat, ultimately defeating the beneficial reasons for having green space. This work comments on the absurdity and irony that are used within language, consumer products, and mass culture to promote misleading environmental friendly alternatives to consumers.


43.6333' N, 77.8271' W

This work was driven by the infamous garbage patch or plastic island in the Great Pacific. It is proven that our Great Lake have the same amount of plastic particles per million  as the Great Pacific Ocean. This installation is made up of plastic particles collected from Sunnyside Beach in Toronto, cleaned, sorted and arranged within the gallery to create a sense of awareness to this growing global concern. The numbers made from micro-plastics and nurdles within the centre of the work represent the coordinates of Lake Ontario. 


Sanctuary

Each box contains moss colonies that I have collected from alleyways and pedestrian roadways throughout Toronto. I consider these boxes as a wildlife sanctuary, somewhere where I can monitor, preserve, and protect these species from being endangered. Thus creating a balancing feedback loop, while commenting on human domestication of nature.


Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better 

This playful installation looks at my own relationship with the natural world in contrast to the built urban landscape of the city. Constantly fixated on the organisms and life that lives amongst the cracks and crevasses within the concrete of the city's landscape. Determined to see how far these life forms can be pushed in order to survive and thrive while inhabiting these stressful conditions that are created. This installation inhabits the Window Space at Xpace Cultural Centre which faces the busy corner of Dundas W and Lansdowne Ave. There is a mirrored surveillance dome as part of this installation which works as an activation for public participation. The location of this work, being exposed to changing temperatures and being directly affected by the natural elements, directly affects the conditions within these boxes and the viability of the work is also affected. 


Wilding 

Re-wilding is simply the process of making the world wild again. This work comments on the constrictions and restrictions of the natural world within the city. Questioning the use of urban space and how we can possibly create new alternatives through innovative strategies and green design. The steel cubes resemble the repeated concrete planter boxes we pass by every day reminding us of the perfectly pruned aesthetics of horticulture that we often familiarize within the downtown core of cities. The single cube on the opposing wall speaks to this concept of re-wilding and attempts to answer the question of how we can make an urban landscape wild again. 


Habitat Fragmentation 

This installation borrows aesthetic qualities and basic principals from ‘Habitat 67’ by Moshe Safdie. These ideas include such principals as the dissatisfaction with suburbia and the disturbances to open green spaces urban development is causing. This installation uses waste materials in order to propose a new area for green space within the urban cityscape.


CubED

This work gains inspiration from Hans Haacke ‘Condensation Cube’. CubED comments on climate change and how our environment is at a fragile state. I built this work as a gesture of protection and housed these environments in plastic cubes. I wanted to contrast these two materials due to plastic being the main material we manufacture consumer goods out of, which is causing a number of detremental environmental issues within the world. These cubes are meant to resemble building blocks and how we are treating the natural world as an experiment. 


The Garden Project

The Garden Project allowed me to re-connect with my past as well as bring awareness to the importance of buying local and sustainable food. Growing up in the country I was always aware of where my food was grown, when I moved to the city I felt a sense of disconnection to the origins of my food. I created a portable garden out of found objects that worked as a social experiment in order to see how the public would react to this object. I grew the produce that was planted in the wheelbarrow and walked the garden from the west end of the city, to the city's centre, to symbolize the act of migration. I created pamphlets that had information about the importance of eating locally, a list of local farmers markets, as well as offered a range of organic locally harvested vegetable seeds that the viewers were free to take and grow in their own space.  


The Telephone Booth Project

This was a temporary public art intervention that was made as an unofficial project for Nuit Blanche, in Toronto 2015. This project was meant to comment on the lack of green space within the city, which results in microclimates and a range of other problematic ecological issues. I wanted to create a sustainable ecosystem within a forgotten about space within the city, which in this case was a telephone booth. I recorded public engagement with the work and analyzed how the experience differed between the event (where people are expecting to encounter artwork in unconventional ways) and the next day where this type of encounter wasn't expected.


Free Stuff 

Free Stuff is a form of public activism in order to demonstrate the importance of ownership and taking responsibility for our actions. By cleaning up and collecting the garbage along the shoreline in a section of Sunnyside Beach in Toronto, ON, I wanted to demonstrate the affects of consumer culture. Commenting on commodity goods, our disposable lifestyle, and the exchange of commerce for goods that do not biodegrate. After collecting the waste, I brought the garbage to the public boardwalk that runs along the beachside, emptied each bag individually and spelled the word ‘Free’. I wanted this to act as a symbolic action and bring these ecological issues I am concerned with to the attention of the public, in a way that it couldn’t be ignored.


Transplant 

Transplant was inspired by the decision the city made to replace real grass with an artificially made plastic synthetic grass also known as Astroturf. I transplanted a section of real grass and swapped it with a section of the astroturf and vice-versa. This act was used to comment on our desire to "perfect" nature because it is easier and cheaper to maintain. This desire is encapsulated within society, the act to modify, or correct oneself in order to be beautiful. This simple act allows the viewer to question these choices that are made within society and within the environment. Transplant also can be used to understand the contradiction within urban planning regarding the natural world. By replacing real grass with astroturf completely undoes all of the beneficial qualities that real grass provides, especially within a city setting that is already deprived of green spaces. 


Tenacity 

This performance based work was about a personal cleanse and purification in order to re-connect and repair my relationship with nature. By writing repeatedly on the wall with soil "I will not give up on you" I was attempting to demonstrate that my hands are dirty too. My relationship with nature is not perfect however, this was a step towards self-awareness and dedication in order to better my relationship with nature, in hopes of repairing the damage I have personally done. By washing the wall with water, following my performance I wanted this to be an act of wiping the slate clean and starting fresh, almost resembling a type of baptism. This act aloud me to reconsider my own position as an artist as well as repair my relationship with nature.  


The Milkweed Project

I collected milkweed from High Park and re-distributed theseeds along The West Toronto Railpath. I chose this location in order torevitalize the site. Over the years the community of this area have tried tostart numerous initiatives in order to re-wild this area in the spirit ofguerrilla gardening. Within the design and construction of this path,considerations such as leaving as many native species as possible while causingas little disturbances to the ecosystem were prominent considerations. However,since the development of the new UP train running alongside The West TorontoRailpath, many of these efforts were destroyed. 

I wanted to revitalize thisarea and help to re-wild this site back to how it once was.  This project was also inspired by DavidSuzuki’s Got Milk Weed Campaign,which encouraged the residences of Toronto to plant milkweed in order to helpsave the monarch butterfly population. By re-distributing these indigenousplants I was hoping to increase biodiversity, and help to increase the amountof food that the monarchs have during their migratory route to Mexico eachyear. 

 I often think of this type ofhuman intervention almost as a necessity, similar to the hand pollinationtechniques being used in China and various countries around the world. Due tothe decrease of bees, increase of population and supply and demand, farmers wereforced to introduce hand pollination techniques in order for their crops tosurvive. I wanted to use these same ideologies in order to help re-wild this area in order to increase the population of Monarch Butterflies to help them from being endangered or extinct. 


Sanctuary

Retrieve, Revive, Restore 

Inside each of these boxes are various moss colonies that I have collected around the City of Toronto. Each box contains a small number that corresponds with the numbers and locations on the map. I collected all moss in various areas however, all species have come from locations that have been very close to roadways, and pedestrian walkways. Due to the locations of these moss species they have the potential of being endangered through the means of development, or being depleted by heavy foot or car traffic. 

These boxes are used as a type of holding place, allowing the moss to re-wild and revitalize within these controlled environments that I have created, before returning them to their original sites. This project ties into my efforts of correcting failure within the context of human domestication of nature within the urban setting. I consider this act to function as a type of balancing feedback loop, which functions as a stabilizer. I consider these boxes as a wildlife sanctuary, somewhere where I can monitor, preserve, and protect these species until they have been revived before returning them totheir natural ecosystems. 

My intentions here are not only to create awareness, but also allow myself to have a role in the action of protecting, healing, or mending the environment, while being able to observe and learn through my findings. I am hoping that through this action I am able to return the moss in a  better condition than when I found it, helping these small ecosystems to thrive. 

This sculpture not only works as a redemption piece in order for me to give back to the environment for the damage I have personally contributed to but also comments on consumerism and the desires of nature becoming a commodity, such as the exploitation of terrariums, which are linked to this idea of human domestication within nature.


#popupseedbanktoronto

This project is part of a continuous series that I am going to undertake this summer. I will be creating pop up seed banks in various location around the city in empty magazine and newspaper containers. These projects are promoted and advertised through my Instagram, which  gives the viewer information as to when they are going to pop up and the location of the seed bank. The seed bank is linked to the hashtag #popuptorontoseedbank where participants are able to document and share the progression of these seeds. Each magazine and newspaper stand contains approximately 100 handsewn pouches that contain a variety of local, organic vegetable seeds that the participant is welcome to take and plant in a location of their choice. This action helps to collectively re-wild the urban setting.  


Sanctuary Cart 

This work creates a visualization of the performance aspect of my previous work Sanctuary Retrieve, Revive, Restore. Each box contains moss that was collected from various locations around the city. Once the moss is done reviving in these sanctuaries, I will return them back to their original locations.

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