Whether we’re arriving, connecting or departing, we move through Toronto’s vast transit system as members of a mass urban community, briefly inhabiting its network of spaces as we follow our own paths and trajectories. As the former northwestern terminus of the Yonge-University line, Wilson Station is a venue particularly rich in these pathways. Outside the Lines is a new integrated public art work within Wilson Station that captures the site’s capacity for dynamic movement through bursts of colourful sculptural forms. Rather than a singular static art piece, Outside the Lines is playfully fluid. Popping out of walls, shooting through floors and coiling around columns, it flows through the sprawling station in the form of ten vibrant installations.
Outside the Lines is born of the language and materials of the subway system and Wilson Station’s surrounding community. Taking the omnipresent steel handrail tube, Outside the Lines transforms this simple material into an interactive sculpture and wayfinding device. The installations are formed from durable, powder-coated steel tubes mounted to various surfaces throughout the site. Adjacent Wilson Station is Downsview Park and the growing Wilson Heights neighbourhood, home to a compelling aviation history. Downsview Airport was the site of countless air shows, where one could witness death-defying acts of aeronautics. The curving, swooping forms of Outside the Lines mirror the aerial acrobatics that have mystified Toronto audiences for more than a century. This commitment to reimagining the possibilities of everyday materials, and an interest in the unique histories of Toronto spaces are at the heart of LeuWebb Projects and the dozens of large-scale art works we have conceptualized to date.
In addition to the enhancement and animation that a new work of art brings to a site, the piece provides both amenity and wayfinding for Wilson Station. At virtually any point within the Station, it’s possible to view an element of Outside the Lines. Similar to a passenger’s visit to the Station, which can begin from various points of entry and transfer, the art work may be experienced in different sequences by each visitor. Further to the point of audience engagement, it is important to note that subway stations are extremely tactile sites. Commuters push through turn-styles, press buttons, and grip handrails. Complementing this physically interactive environment through a similarly tactile artwork is an integral component of Outside the Lines. The floor-mounted installations also provide a novel place to lean and sit while waiting for a bus or subway, engaging visitors in an art work they can touch, use and remember.
© 2021 LeuWebb Projects