NEWS
07/04/2014 08:48 EDT | Updated 09/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Downsview Park Station emphasizes art, natural light

Art will blend with architecture in the six new subway stations now taking shape along the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Spadina Extension subway line, set to open in the fall of 2016.

In this series, CBC looks at each of the six stations in more detail.

Downsview Park Station

Architects: Aedas, London with AECOM, Toronto

Artist: Panya Clark Espinal, Toronto

Artists strive to “build a world that feeds life and allows us to feel a sense of joy,” said artist Panya Clark Espinal explaining why it’s important to build art into subway stations. If we only put it in museums and galleries, she said, “95 per cent of the world would not have access to art.”

Downsview Park Station’s big, open spaces carry natural light to track level. The best way to experience Spin, Clark Espinal’s trompe l’oeil artwork for the station, is by moving through those spaces.

The art will often look random, splaying out in black brushstroke line segments across terrazzo floors, wall tiles, window panes and ceiling panels. At specific viewpoints, all the bits of line spring into place to form hand-drawn circles of various sizes that seem to float in space. As the rider continues to move, the circles again break into segments of apparently stray lines.

Spin builds on Clark Espinal’s work at Bayview Station on the Sheppard line, where deconstructed images of everyday objects float into coherency at specific viewpoints.

It took sophisticated computer technology to produce Spin, but the result has a fresh, hand-drawn effect that is important to the artist. The gesture suggested by the black brushstroke circles is meant to vitalize the comparatively rigid architecture of the station.

Read about the rest of the Spadina Extension subway line:

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