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Remembered Sustenance

Remembered Sustenance

Cynthia Short

Remembered Sustenance
  • 19 bronze scultpures
  • 1992
  • Various dimensions
  • 55 John Street, Metro Hall, Toronto

About the artwork

The inspiration for Cynthia Short’s 1992 bronze sculpture, Remembered Sustenance, is drawn from the location of the sculpture’s site. Adjacent to an outdoor daycare playground, the work has been created to convey the sense of playfulness and whimsy associated with children’s stories and games. This group of bronze, non-specific cartoonish animals appear to be migrating across the lawn, towards, then away from a curtain drawn by two birds. Below the curtain, a plate set in the ground holds a negative impression of the shape of a small ballerina that might be found in a child’s music box. The various elements found in the artwork represent the remembered experiences of childhood that the artist suggests can sustain us throughout our lives. Open and abundant with possibility of meaning, it is the artist’s stated intention that the work should most of all be enjoyed by children.

About the artist

Cynthia Short is an artist working in Toronto. For the past several years she has been working on small sculptures using materials such as wax, soil, and paper mache. “I try to make things that have a quality of something remembered or recognized. I hope that my images grow from a place that we all have inside”.

Fun facts

  • “It is one of the few sculptures in Toronto that people notice, remember and talk about” John Warkentin writes in his book, “Creating Memory: A Guide to Outdoor Public Sculpture in Toronto”.
  • As many adults and parents question the meaning and reality of the represented animals, Short's sculptures are open and abundant with possibility of meaning, leaving her work to be most of all, enjoyed by children.

Engagement questions

  • How do you define a successful public art project?
  • When you learned the title of the artwork, how did you associate the words with what you see in front of you? Did the title seem to fit with the artwork or were you surprised?