A permanent art installation by Toronto-based art collective Blue Republic has landed in the city’s Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood at the foot of Redpath Condos.
Commissioned by the condo’s development team, Capital Developments and Freed Developments, the $1.5-million installation emerges from two portals on both corners of Redpath Ave.
The crew of blue and yellow characters, each weighing thousands of pounds, create a window into outer space, both through the bold creatures themselves and their surrounding landscape of swirling vortexes.
“Now more than ever, people are looking for something positive, fun and colourful. STARGATE is one of the most distinct, boundary-pushing public art installations in Toronto,” says Amanda Milborne-Ireland, VP of Sales and Marketing, Capital Developments. “Its vibrancy reflects the dynamic energy and diversity already here in the Midtown neighbourhood, and we’re so proud to bring these colourful creatures to the base of our residences. We see STARGATE becoming a lasting landmark for Yonge and Eglinton, and something Torontonians can playfully engage with for years to come.”
Blue Republic was founded by Toronto artists Anna Passakas and Radoslaw Kudlinski. They were announced the winner of a national public art competition launched by Freed Developments and Capital Developments in 2016 to enhance the Midtown neighbourhood.
Inspired by both Eastern and Greek mythology and science fiction, STARGATE serves as a connection between different worlds and a call to explore the unknown.
“Our inspiration for this piece came from the unique diversity of this city. For some, moving to a new neighbourhood is like moving from one universe to another. So many people bring various experiences and cultures with them from all over the world,” says Radoslaw Kudlinksi of Blue Republic. “We are both science fiction fans, and we felt that STARGATE, drawing from this popular genre, could be the glue between these narratives.”
As if frozen in time, the characters appear poised to take over Midtown – whether through battle, dance or otherworldly means. Two protagonists formed of bronze lead the charge, standing guard at the busy corner – one being a 15-ft., six-legged yellow alien and the other a 12-ft. animalistic electric blue creature.
The two creatures stand tall among five smaller aluminum-based cohorts, creating a lively, dramatic scene. Psychedelic glass murals with swirling graphics serve as a backdrop to the statues as the vortexes from which they arrived.
“As immigrants, we have experienced first hand what many people coming to Toronto experience. We also know there is a huge appetite in this city for engaging public artwork and STARGATE is a piece that commands your attention,” says Anna Passakas of Blue Republic. “It was designed especially to complement the striking architecture of 150 and 155 Redpath Ave., and to personify the energy of the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood.”