There’s never been a better time to go outside and explore the artwork in your neighbourhood. From yarn bombing in Twillingate to the beautiful murals of Botwood, the outdoors provides a plethora of canvasses to choose from and there’s no shortage of amazing artists who are ready and waiting to make their mark.
Public art enlivens spaces and helps tell the story of a place and in this time of social distancing, an art walk is the perfect activity to enjoy with family and friends who are in your bubble. If you happen to be living in or visiting St. John’s, you’ll definitely want to add the public art at Solomon’s Lane to your list.
The public art project was a collaborative one in every aspect. Officially unveiled in December, it was designed, created and installed by artists Krystle Hayden, Jovana Randjelovic and Jessica Waterman and is a partnership between the City of St. John’s and the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador. The paint for the piece was generously donated by The Paint Shop. Titled “(in)habit,” it’s inspired by the traditional visual language of quilting and has helped create a visually stunning and inviting space downtown at Solomon’s Lane (which is located just outside the Craft Council building and connects Water and Duckworth Streets) while showcasing the work of local artists.
“Through this partnership we are leveraging our annual public art programming, engaging community organizations and developing a project that will help in creating interest, activity and vibrancy in downtown,” stated Debbie Hanlon, council lead on the city’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, in a press release.
Artist Jessica Waterman says the vibrancy of the piece also invites viewers to engage and get better acquainted with the space. It’s hard to walk by the space and not want to stop to take a closer look.
“Using a quilting motif and applying it in an interactive way within the space we create a pull on the viewer, through vibrant colour and design, to explore the space and surrounding area more fully,” she says.
“Injecting this space with a blanket of light above and a blanket of colour below is a representation of the traditional and modern artistic elements interacting with one another in a harmonious juxtaposition.”
The City kicked in $15,000 for the project and the Craft Council contributed $5,000. This isn’t the first piece of public art that the City has supported. Since 2005, the City has contracted artists to design and complete several murals throughout St. John’s including the one on McBride’s Hill, the George Street East stairwell, Victoria Street steps, Duckworth Street, Flower Hill, Battery Road, Blackhead Road and Scanlan’s Lane.
Rowena House, Executive Director of the Craft Council, says this bright and eye-catching piece is a welcome addition to the Craft Council’s new space.
“The quilted lane project has overall improved the look and feel of our new home on Duckworth Street!” We are thrilled to be working with these amazing artists to portray this wonderful display of colour into the laneway that will no doubt be a tourist attraction for many years to come.”