A Vision Realized, Midland Park Community Association Mural, 2010, 8’ x 22’, 1197-1217 Ellesmere Rd., (and Oakley Blvd) Scarborough, Ontario, Latex on Alupanel, Coated.
ARTIST STATEMENT – “The Vision Realized”
One of the greatest thrills for an architect is to see their original goals realized through the words of residents living in the space. The original architect of Midland Park; Ted Ross, was influenced by Bauhaus and inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. Part of this modernist philosophy was to mix the natural environment with industrial materials in a harmonious, pleasing manner. Under the direction of Paul T Hellyer, owner of Curran Hall, Midland Park Community was designed; incorporating the natural hills, contours, trees and ravine into the designs. A strong, bold look using diagonals and simplified shapes created a modern, architectural paradise. Many residents have commented on the spacious, trendy ambiance, natural beauty of hills, gardens and Birkdale ravine.
What made this housing development unique was that it came furnished with designer made accessories and paintings. It created an entire modern experience. Although these houses were humbly priced ($12,000) in 1960, the buyers received the most value for their money. Winnipeg architect and furniture designer; A.J. Donahue designed sleek, contoured tables, chairs and dressors. Toronto’s Abstract artist R. York Wilson was a colorist, blending abstract and realism into his paintings. Some examples of his paintings are below. They can be found on the walls throughout these unique homes.
The colors I chose in the proposal, reflect Wilson’s paintings and the natural surroundings of the Birkdale Ravine. I went back to the basic premise of what the architect Mr. Ross must have been thinking; converge natural beauty with modern abstract. Thus, “The Vision Realized” shows award winning homes surrounded by rocks, water and trees. This harmonious combination is done in a loose manner where images are superimposed onto one another, yet reveal a realistic sense of the scene. The colour palette uses blue, brown and purple with orange accents to tie in Pizza Pizza. The words “the vision realized” completes the circle, fulfilling modernist intent.
Just as Ross and Donahue spent many years in Winnipeg, I have too. Just as Wilson was a muralist, I am too. Just as Ross loved Falling Water, I do too. After many attempts at illustrating your committee’s wonderful ideas of a postcard montage, I went back to the drawing board and came up with something very different. I wanted something that reflected the great success of the neighborhood and made it attractive to all. This colourful landscape is what Midland Park Community represents; a modern place to live with natural beauty in its backyard. By showing its success, we celebrate the achievements of Ross and Hellyer. It would be a privilege and great delight to paint this mural for you.