BigArtTO to feature Day of the Dead projections on facade of R. C. Harris Water Filtration Plant this week

The facade of the R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant will be transfored by art projections on the theme of the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) on the evenings of Nov. 4 through Nov. 7 as part of the BigArtTO initiative. Image: Submitted.

The facade of The R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant at Queen Street East and Victoria Park Avenue will be turned into a giant projection screen this week as part of the outdoor public art project #BigArtTO.

The project is part of an ongoing city-wide public art celebration featuring free access to more than 200 hours of temporary public artworks projected onto local buildings and landmarks.

The R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant will be transformed with light by international award-winning artists Emma Lopez and Pedro Narvaez.

They have created an animated art projection in honour of the pre-hispanic Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead.

Lopez and Narvaez are the founderes of AVA Animation & Visual Arts and their previous works have been presented on international landmarks such the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest and Odawara Castle in Japan.

“The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos is a celebration meant to honour our ancestors, to thank them. As all traditions, its purpose is to help us find our place in the world by honouring those that have already left and thank them for the love and the lessons they left behind,” said Lopez in a press release announcing the event at the R. C. Harris Water Treatment plant.

“It is a way to use art to transform grief, by thinking of death not as a dark, dreaded and painful event but as a part of life itself, that should also be celebrated, and we do so with flowers, incense, food, colour and joy.”

Joining Lopez and Narvaez in presenting this week’s projections will be five talented artists and animation alumni from OCAD University: Gabriel Masewich,

Rebecca Van Fraassen, Simone Northey, Peter Rahul and “Double Aye (Mohammed Abdullah)”.

Each of them will be presenting their own personal visual interpretations of the concept of Day of the Dead..

“All traditions evolve just as we do, and this particular traditions is very close to our hearts, we have seen it evolve over the years. Having recently migrated to Canada ourselves we thought it was valuable to share this very important part as ourselves and our cultural background by opening it up for dialogue and collaboration, we want to see what this beautiful concept can inspire other fellow artists to create, to find out what other meanings can we discover together,” said Narvaez.

The projections will play on the facade from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. each night from Wednesday, Nov. 4 through to Saturday, Nov. 7.

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