The Gateway to Understanding

John MacGregor and Hillel Kagan are veteran Toronto artists who have been perusing the Toronto art scene for years, looking and talking about the art they see. We invite you to share in one of their dialogues as they view David Ruben Piqtoukun’s sculpture
“ The Gateway to Understanding.”

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J.M: I like it. Rough hewn stone, chiseled and marked all over. It has a timeless quality.

H.K: Ya, I’ve seen stuff like it all over the world. Ancient Celts and Romans erecting structures and porticos to mark a place or time.

J.M: Yes, time is an important element.? These things were used for temporal purposes to measure time.? Like Stonehenge, to mark the change of seasons.

H.K: Right, art is all about measurement and David’s piece suggests that feeling well.

J.M: Yes, his piece comes from a tradition of human activity that goes back to antiquity.
H.K: A collective symbol for all humanity.? It’s an art that belongs to a nomadic people who traveled and wandered and marked certain locations of significance.?This is not necessarily the work of an aboriginal artist per se.? It’s the work of an artist who comes out of a certain tradition?but uses that tradition to create work that’s relevant and modern.

J.M: This man has two parents.? One parent in the traditional world of the Inuit and one steeped in European culture.? I’m standing here now looking through the sculpture to the water and the Islands.?

H.K: And from this side we’re looking through to the city. I’ve seen some of his other carvings where he depicts traditional Inuit imagery and stories-really fine carvings.

J.M: To see this piece in the heart of Toronto’s magnificent waterfront and be surprised like this is a delight.? What a wonderful placement.

H.K: Yes, it’s like being transported to the Great North and yet being able to view the cityscape through a magic portal.? I re-see the city in a new and spectacular fashion. It makes one a participant in one particular artist’s act of seeing.

J.M: It refreshes one’s jaded urban vision through the eyes of an outsider and causes us to re-see the city and our life in some new yet older context that all Canadians can identify with.

“ The Gateway to Understanding” is located on Queen’s Quay, west of the Raddison Hotel, 249 Queen’s Quay West

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