Artwork: Site Lines by Jhyling Lee
'Public Art Now' Tour – Downtown Area
We Are Still Here
7 Panel Mural on the walls of the N'Amerind Friendship Centre
In 2022, Ojibwe educator and visual artist, Mike Cywink, worked with N’Amerind Friendship Centre, The City of London, and the London Arts Council to develop a large-scale, seven-panel Indigenous mural at N’Amerind Friendship Centre. Cywink, from Whitefish River First Nation near Manitoulin Island, has a very longstanding and deeply significant relationship with N’Amerind Friendship Centre, including its constituents, staff and leaders. He is a valued member of the community and a mentor to many Indigenous youth.
For this mural, Mike worked with Indigenous youth artists and Residential School Survivors to create a mural to increase public awareness and knowledge of the history of Canada’s Residential School System; honour Residential School Survivors and the children who were lost through the system; and celebrate Indigenous arts, culture, knowledge, and histories. Residential School Survivors contributed to the creation of the mural through consultation sessions, which provided them with a meaningful voice by reflecting and commemorating their resilience and their lives throughout the development of this project.
Describing the significance of this mural project, Cywink explains “The Residential School system tried to wipe out the Indigenous Peoples, with assimilation being the key focus of those institutes. But the spirit of the native people was too strong. The ones who walked before us fought to keep our ways of life going. They ensured our teachings; ceremonies and our spiritual connections would live on. Through every action, their thoughts were with us. As we move forward together, we must never forget what has happened. We have survivors who walk amongst us, we have children of survivors who are dealing with intergenerational trauma and trying their best to break the cycle of pain and hurt. No matter what we do, we must always think of the next group coming next. Whether it is the youth of today, the newborns or the ones who are coming 7 generations from now. We must always think of them in everything we do.”
The mural was formally unveiled at N’Amerind Friendship Centre on September 30, 2022, during a ceremony to honour the lives of Residential School Survivors and children who were lost through the Residential School System.
For more information about the mural, please visit: https://www.indigenouslondonarts.ca/
UNESCO City of Music Mural
5-panel Mural on the Main Lobby Bulkhead of RBC Place London
On November 8, 2021, the City of London was recognized as Canada’s first UNESCO City of Music, joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). UCCN strives to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
In 2022, to celebrate and promote this unique and momentous designation, local artist Tova Hasiwar worked with The City of London, RBC Place London, and the London Arts Council to create a five panel mural to be displayed at RBC Place London, chosen for its prominent and highly visible location in London’s core. RBC Place functions as a gateway to the core area, welcoming visitors from Canada and all over the world. Due to its location, RBC Place provides the first impression of the city, and its great facility and professional service contributes to a positive and lasting impression of London.
The mural was painted on mahogany boards and features bright ultra-clear records created using a resin-pouring technique. Regarding the relationship between the mural and the UNESCO City of Music designation, Hasiwar says:
“As a UNESCO City of Music, London is a distinguished and unique hub for creative advancement, which is suggested through the bold and bright musical design of this piece, which features the universally identifiable musical symbols of records and the musical staff. The vibrant, ultra clear record is known as a recognizable symbol of rarity amongst a vast spectrum of musical interests; simple, timeless, and meant to instill that same feeling of adoration and nostalgia.
London draws talent from neighboring communities, weaving together a meaningful collaboration of various cultures and identities. These relationships are represented through the musical staff made up of intersecting blocks of colour. The staff curves around the design representing music in its original written language, another language through which we can communicate. The green braille-like dots translate the soundwave taken from an audio recording of my voice saying, “London City of Music,” with both voice and braille representing more languages of music.
The design is comprised of five interchangeable panels working in harmony with each other no matter the arrangement-- solo, duo, quartet, or big band style. Horizontally or vertically, the panels connect and disconnect effortlessly. The records were created using a poured resin technique, mixed with powdered pigments to achieve a transparent finish which showcases the layers of musical references and paint underneath.”
For operational hours and a list of event dates, please review RBC Place London’s full event schedule at www.rbcplacelondon.com/upcoming-events when planning your visit.
People and the City
On the corner of Wellington Street and Queens Avenue
People and the City was designed by Stuart Reid and Doreen Balabanoff. Installed in 1991, it is a civic monument that pays tribute to the peoples of London, from its Indigenous roots, through the latter half of the 20th century. The central figure is a cross section of two profiles, one embodying the First Nations, the other representing John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada.
The artwork encompasses a solid flat bronze sheet with a series of cathedral like windows – evincing a medieval reliquary, that houses outlined silhouettes of notable figures from London’s past. Situated across the street is a bronze map that labels each window and the names of the represented figures. For example, the top two windows portray Native Peoples and Early Settlers, the middle windows feature people who are recognized in the fields of Politics and Law, Religious Leaders, Service and Activism, and Humanitarians, while the bottom six windows depict people celebrated for excellence in Philanthropy, Research, Education, Business, Industry and Labour, Sports and Entertainment, and the Arts.
The form of the artwork references the city as a built construction, shaped by the forces of architecture and by the people who construct and reside in it. At the time of its fabrication, People and the City was created by cutting edge technology whereby a concentrated water jet spray, controlled by a computer program, slowly cut through the slab of bronze to delineate intricate forms of negative space. A limestone base was constructed to give the sculpture further height and complement the bronze material.
Forest City Playground – Market Lane Murals
139 Dundas Street