This past Labour Day, I decided to celebrate the changes of the season with an art installation in The Grove.
“Hope and Fear” is made out of four separate wooden shapes. Each shape, when viewed from a different angle, forms a letter.
The installation was placed along the main trail that runs kitty-corner through The Grove. Viewers walking south along the trail saw the word “HOPE.” Viewers walking north along the trail saw the word “FEAR.”
Watch this video to see the installation from different perspectives:
The afternoon that I put up the installation, I stood at a distance and watched people walk past it and interact with it.
Some looked up briefly and then quickly returned their gaze to whatever handheld device they were occupied with. Regardless of what direction they were walking, they only saw the installation from one perspective.
Others kept their eyes on the installation and watched the words morph as they walked past.
Many (and these were my favourites!) walked back and forth past the installation, playfully making the letters shift back and forth by changing their perspective. Many walked up closer to see how each wooden shape was constructed and to figure out how the illusion worked.
The discourse around the many issues facing our community right now is often framed in binary “hope” vs. “fear” oppositions. For each social, economic or environmental issue, there are often very valid reasons to be both hopeful and fearful, and all points in between.
I encourage us all, at the very least, to keep our heads up and view each issue from different perspectives as we walk past.
Better yet, spend a playful moment or two walking back and forth along the path and ask those around you what they see!