Thursday, February 4, 2010

BenchMark: Transfermation and the Red Rocket

BenchMark Blogs: the Art Benches of Liberty Village

If you have missed the previous posts explaining the Liberty Village Benchmark program and the art benches we have located in our village go here to fetch them all and read the earlier posts. . This is the 10th post in the series to feature each of our 19 art benches.

The bench I am featuring today is located on King Street, just east of Atlantic Avenue on the edge of the parkette adjacent to the rail way underpass.  It is bench number 6 on the Benchmark Map which can be accessed here. Titled "Transfermation", it was created by Christopher Hayes and sponsored by the First Capital Realty. FIRST CAPITAL REALTY INC. is Canada’s leading owner, developer and operator of supermarket and drug store anchored neighbourhood and community shopping centres. They happen to own the shopping centre which houses the Liberty Village Metro Store.

There are several visual focal points in the scenes painted on the bench.  The left side shows the industrial period in Liberty Village in the early part of the 20th century,  when   when the Toy Factory Condo Lofts were part of an Industrial complex inhabited by various companies such as Irwin Toys and Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. (manufacturer of billiard tables and bowling alleys).  The top of this side of the bench shows a more modern scene with folks strolling down Atlantic Avenue MP3 player in hand, earphones plugged in.

On the other side of the bench is a very familar Toronto urban sight.  This side is devoted to our street car - the King Street Car Route #504.  This is the TTC service which passes by just yards from the bench.  If you look on the top most picture above, the lower half of the bench side  is painted to look like a paper "transfer", which passengers take from the driver in order to transfer from the street car to the subway without paying another fare. 

Given the "paper transfer" and the idea of the neighbourhood being transformed, I guess that is why it is called Transfermation.  I note that the identification plaque on the bench identifies the name of the work as Transfermation but the LVBIA PDF incorrectly identifies the bench (#6) as Transformation.

Lastly, you might not get this if you are not from Toronto, but you can see "Thanks for R" and "The Rocke" - which of course refers to our Red Rocket, as we call our TTC, since the cars are painted red. 

Go here to see more of Christopher Hayes work on his MySpace site.

I also want to make mention of what a great job the LVBIA is doing to keeping all our benches looking great.  This one (and  others)  was removed last summer and refurbished, so it is just like new.

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