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Connecting to the Environment through Public Art: Urban Moorings Two

August 4, 2022

An Interview with the Curators of Urban Moorings Two

On Tuesday August 2, four sculptures floated out onto Cootes Paradise along the Desjardins Trail, part of a public art project inviting visitors to consciously connect with the environment. Urban Moorings Two brings together five local artists to create installations in dialogue with floating garden flats placed along lower Chedoke Creek.

Keep reading to learn more about this public art project from co-curators Nora Hutchinson and Alexis Moline.

Q: Can you summarize the goal / theme of Urban Moorings Two?

Nora Hutchinson and Alexis Moline: Urban Moorings Two is a public art project inviting you to consciously connect with our environment, the water and land on which we live. Artists reflect the world around them, and have a unique perspective on how to engage, educate and communicate with other people. Fueled by the current situation with the water sewage problem in Chedoke Creek, the artists aim to speak to the larger picture of the world’s climate crisis and get us to think deeper on how we can care for the place where we live.

A raft with a dome-like sculpture constructed from slats of wood floats on a raft in Cootes Paradise
Guided by Reflections by Alex Jacobs-Blum

Q: What makes the selected artists a good fit for this project? What is it about the topic of urban watersheds that speaks to you as artists?

N.H. and A.M.: The five artists, Nathan Eugene Carson, Alex Jacobs-Blum, Christopher McLeod, Nora Hutchinson and Tor Lukasik-Foss, come from a diversity of backgrounds and artistic practices, which provides the project with new and exciting perspectives surrounding our shared environments. All of these artists have a deep commitment and passion for Hamilton, its people and natural landscape. Urban Moorings Two is a wonderful opportunity to get all of these caring, creative people to come together and make a statement on the environmental crises we are all facing together.

inflatable iceberg sculpture floating out on a wooden raft in cootes paradise
The Last, Lost Iceburg by Norah Hutchinson

Q: Installing the works on floating platforms in Cootes Paradise is definitely a unique venue for an art installation. What challenges come with creating art for a raft?

N.H. and A.M.: What is unique and challenging to this project is not only that the sculptures are to be on display entirely outdoors for 3 months, but also that they will be floating on rafts in the water which makes them more vulnerable to the elements and to water damage. The artists, curators, and supportive RBG staff were aware of these challenges from the start, and were in frequent communication to make sure every element of construction and display was thought through and would work.

From mounting the sculptures to the rafts to placing them into the bay by motor boat and securing them properly with anchors, The RBG team of workers have aided us in this process in order to make sure everything is up to code and will stand unpredictable outdoor weather conditions!

The New Bird Restaurant Project, Nathan Carson

Q: Can you share one message you hope visitors to Urban Moorings Two take home with them?

N.H. and A.M.: Through these unique artistic practices, we hope that a deeper and more caring awareness can be cultivated surrounding the environmental and cultural challenges within Hamilton’s urban watersheds flowing to Cootes Paradise Marsh. We hope that visitors can connect these local concerns with what is happening globally so that we may all live in greater harmony with our natural environments.

Where to Find Urban Moorings Two

The five original artworks will be available to view in the lower Chedoke Creek watershed until November 1, 2022. Points of access include Princess Point and the Desjardins Trail.

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