by Glendon McGowan
Sign(s) of Life
Gallery 310, February 11th-15th, 2019
Sign(s) of life addresses and investigates the idea of physical space in relation to human encounter and interaction, within the environment of the beaches and shorelines of Lake Ontario that extend across Toronto’s southern boundary. Locations like these facilitate human experiences, and often are a retreat from the bustle of the downtown core. Once the crowds have gone, these spaces then return to their emptiness, taking on a set of ideas corresponding to their abandonment. The part of the spaces’ identities that is based on tourism and recreation begins to diminish, while their place in the surrounding environment is reconsidered.
Sign(s) of life seeks to understand how elements within the landscape can influence our interpretation of a space as a whole. The images lack human presence, while at the same time they bring into focus the remnants and signs of a former human presence in the space. Our feeling that someone once inhabited this landscape, engaging in a space that is now empty and void, leaves us questioning the past and how we identify with it. Viewers are invited to engage with the images and make meaning around the interactions of past, present, and future in a space that is susceptible to constant change.