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A LONGER STORY

LAUREN PIRIE, EMMA CHOROSTECKI, P.A. PAX & NATALIE BOUSTEAD

Artwork image for A LONGER STORY

Description

A LONGER STORY is a collaborative installation, incorporating a sculptural planter structure with illuminated soft sculptural elements. The project was funded as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022.

This piece is an evolution of Lauren Pirie’s “A Long Story” series of soft-sculptural installations; long, soft arm forms wrapping around and embracing each other and the environments they inhabit. The ArtworxTO version is a collaborative project that imagines the soft sculpture and lighting-based works intertwining with sculptural wooden planter structures, designed by Emma Chorostecki. Limbs made of weatherproof fabric embrace planters and sink into the soil of a sub-irrigated planter system created with community gardens coordinator, Natalie Boustead, and garden mentee, Arjen Karaoglan. These plants include a mix of hearty, bird and pollinator-friendly, native plant species, inspired by the existing local landscape, benefits of access to green space, and embracing opportunities to connect to the earth within the city.

A LONGER STORY incorporates a programmed LED lighting system, installed internally within the soft sculpture, garden beds, and sculptural planters. At sundown, the forms will begin to glow, a metaphorical effect of the energy harnessed by its connection to the more-than-human natural world. The lighting, designed by Philip Aaron Pax, incorporates a spectrum of sunset hues, following a subtle breath pattern to inspire calm, and encourage visitors to pause, take in the surrounding natural environment, and breathe in sync.

A LONGER STORY seeks to illuminate inherent interconnectedness—between human and human and to our shared environment—and at the same time, a yearning for connection. It is interested in queer ecologies, and the ways in which desires for human connection and physical touch intertwine with desires for physical and spiritual connection to the earth. And, how our willingness to confront our shadows—individually and collectively—can lead to growth and healing. These themes, while timeless, feel especially relevant in our climate of rising temperatures, heightened anxieties, and, recently, physical distance.

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