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Campsite Founding

Campsite Founding

Brad Golden
b.1971

Lynne Eichenberg
b.1970

Campsite Founding
  • Stainless steel, zinc, bronze, limestone, granite
  • 1995
  • 3.7 m x 2.5 m x 3 m
  • 200 Front Street West, Simcoe Park, Toronto

About the artwork

This installation is made up of many separate pieces which all come together to form a campsite from the past. The sculpture centres around a large covering, which looks like a tarp or the top of a tent, which is tied down by guide wires to eight granite posts on each side of the sideless tent. Under this open roof/tent is a large table with assorted things that depict what lives might have been like then, there is a map of the area and a painting done by Elizabeth Simcoe. As you walk around this sculpture and look at all the different elements you get a feel for what it could have been like to live in these conditions a few centuries ago. Campsite Founding commemorates the contributions of Governor John Graves Simcoe and Elizabeth Simcoe to the establishment of Upper Canada, now the Province of Ontario, in 1791, and subsequently York, now the City of Toronto. Located in Simcoe Park, the multi-component installation reads as a visual and text-based historical narrative. The covered portion refers to the canvas house, also depicted and described on a plaque, which served as a base from which the Simcoes embarked upon their forays into the surrounding environs. The surface of the cast bronze table is inscribed with an early map of Toronto and the pyramid-like cairn and basin evoke the natural landscape of Lake Ontario and the Niagara escarpment. Together these elements contextualize and describe the geography, the circumstances and conditions around the time of the founding of Toronto.

About the artist

For over thirty five years, Brad Golden has directed and collaborated on award-​winning projects that engage public spaces and landscapes. 

As a former public artist himself, Brad has garnered several prestigious awards for his work including a Governor General’s Award of Excellence, City of Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence, City of Etobicoke Urban Design Award of Excellence, Ontario Association of Architects Allied Arts Award, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Award of Excellence and a Financial Post Design Effectiveness Award.

Brad is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (B. Arch 1992, B.E.S. 1988) where he received the Abdul Kaderali Prize for architectural achievement and the Marjorie Schaeffer Award for his contribution to the academic community. He is also a graduate of York University (B.A. 1983). He has been a guest critic and lecturer at the Schools of Architecture at the University of Toronto and University of Waterloo, and guest critic at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and at Ryerson University.

Lynne Eichenberg is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, (B. Arch. 1991, B.E.S. 1998, B.A. 1982). Lynne received the R.A.I.C. Medal for Architectural Thesis in 1992. Lynne has collaborated with Brad since 1992 as well as contributing to several other architectural projects and competitions.

Lynne has been adjunct faculty at the University of Waterloo and has been a guest critic and lecturer at the Schools of Architecture in Toronto and in Waterloo and guest critic at the University of Manitoba.

Lynne is currently consulting at Paul Raff Studio where she is working on several complex urban residential and public art projects.

Fun facts

  • Since 1984, Brad Golden and Lynne Eichenberg have directed and collaborated on projects which address issues of public spaces and landscapes. From large-scale collaborations with architects and engineers to smaller, private commissions, Eichenberg and Golden have become well recognized for creating both permanent and temporary artworks involving the integration of architecture, art, and landscape construction. Eichenberg and Golden's experience in communication with multiple disciplines has led to successful collaborations with architects, landscape architects and engineers across many levels of bureaucratic administration. Projects to date have featured crafted construction combined with studied interpretation of the physical characteristics of the project site.

Engagement questions

  • What’s the main idea of this artwork? What makes you think that?