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Maple Leaf Square - Connection

Maple Leaf Square - Connection

United Visual Artists Ltd.
Founded 2003

Maple Leaf Square - Connection
  • Steel, concrete, LED
  • Feb 2010 - Jun 2010
  • 21 m long
  • 15 York Street, Toronto

About the artwork

SACO Technologies Inc was contracted to design and install the lighting display and systems for “Connection”, a public art illuminated foot bridge leading from the Maple Leaf Square development into the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto.

This lighting system is a computer controlled multi-coloured, motion sensitive LED lighting system that has programmed artistic lighting patterns that respond to pedestrians walking through the bridge, creating an interactive experience. Clear tubes run from ceiling to floor holding the LED lights, while the wiring is completely hidden. Lighting is also installed beneath the handrails to provide a down-lighting effect.

About the artist

UVA (United Visual Artists) is a London based collective founded in 2003 by British artist Matt Clark. UVA’s diverse body of work integrates new technologies with traditional media such as sculpture, performance and site-specific installation.

Drawing from sources ranging from ancient philosophy to theoretical science, the practice explores the cultural frameworks and natural phenomena that shape our cognition, creating instruments that manipulate our perception and expose the relativity of our experiences. Rather than material objects, UVA’s works are better understood as events in time, in which the performance of light, sound and movement unfolds.

UVA has been commissioned internationally by institutions across the world including the Barbican Curve Gallery, Manchester International Festival, Royal Academy of Arts, Victoria & Albert Museum, YCAM, and many others. 

UVA is collected by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, France and MONA, Australia. Public works are sited internationally in Toronto, Dubai, Philadelphia and London.

The practice has an open and inclusive approach to collaboration and has worked with artists including choreographer Benjamin Millepied, filmmaker Adam Curtis, and musicians Massive Attack, Battles, and James Blake. Most recently UVA collaborated with Christopher Bailey for the Autumn/Winter 2018 fashion runway show at Burberry.

Fun facts

  • The bridge is part of the PATH, a mostly underground pedestrian walkway network in downtown Toronto that spans more than 30 kilometres of restaurants, shopping, services and entertainment.
  • More than 200,000 residents and workers use the PATH daily, a challenge for utilitarian public art integration.

Engagement questions

  • Was this intended to be a work of art or not and why? How does this impact your understanding of the artwork?