June 01, 2012 at 3:34 PM
Early designs have been made for Vong and Claire's 'Urban Firefly', a major sculpture commission for downtown Toronto in Canada. The work is to be installed at the heart of the ICE Development close to the CN Tower in Toronto.
Project managed by Public Art Management
ICE Public Art Program, Toronto
“The house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer”
(Bachelard, ‘The Poetics of Space’)
Urban Firefly work takes the form of a diminutive, powerful three-dimensional ‘house image’ perched atop a mighty yet elegant sculptural ‘stilt’. Urban Firefly will be situated off-centre in the ICE courtyard, set slightly towards the northwest. Its scale is such that it projects up into the opening of the green roof canopy so that the 3D ‘house image’ hovers within this oasis space.
Urban Firefly is visible from the ground level of the Plaza, from the dwellings above overlooking the green roof canopy and from the highway south of the site. During daylight hours Urban Firefly will be a strong and elegant sculptural object with multiple resonances: reminiscent of a tree house, an eyrie or a cabin. The reference to the archetypal ‘house’ object is direct and strong but there is also a sense of nest like fragility and precariousness in the way Urban Firefly sits, delicately held aloft by the outstretched ‘fingers’ of the robust stilt.
The image/concept of the house is something we have explored repeatedly in our practise. We see the house as a source or receptacle of poetic images. It is also an archetypal image, cross-cultural in its signification. It is this transcendent resonance that in fact roots Urban Firefly in downtown Toronto and in its surrounding neighbourhoods. With its reputation as one of the most global cities in the world where trans-cultural ecumenical processes have vastly expanded the boundaries and definitions of belonging, Toronto is ‘home’ to almost all of the world’s culture groups and is the city where more than 130 languages and dialects are spoken. Urban Firefly can perhaps therefore be read as inviting a re-imagining of notions of ‘home’: how new ideations of home can be created in an expanded cosmopolitan city such as Toronto. The image of Urban Firefly, a suspended, glowing, archetype is of what unifies us not what differentiates us.