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Nathan Coley:
We Must Cultivate Our Garden"

May 31st - September 3rd, 2013

As produc­er and curator of Con­temporary Public Art Projects, No. 9 is proud to be working with Ev­ergreen Brick Works to use art to bring awareness to envi­ron­mental issues. For its’ in­au­gural in­stallation in this exciting new partner­ship No.9 will be exhibiting Scottish artist Nathan Coley’s We Must Cul­tivate Our Garden (WMCOG). The large format il­luminated text in­stallation has trav­eled and been exhib­ited internationally over the past few years. A few in­stallation sites include in Flo­rence, Edinburgh, Paris, Stockholm, and Perth. Atop a balcony at the Ev­ergreen Brick Works, a community envi­ron­mental centre that in­spires a sustainable lifestyle, and nes­tled in the Lower Don Valley, Toronto’s largest under­uti­lized green space, WMCOG is sit­uated to stim­ulate the publics’ cu­rios­ity and imag­ination.

The artist, Nathan Coley, was born in 1967 in Glasgow, Scotland. Between 1985 and 1989 he studied at the Glasgow School of Art. From 1998 to 2005 he lived and worked in Dundee. In 2007 he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize. He currently lives and works in Glasgow. His work is represented in many international public and private collections, and was most recently represented by Haunch of Venison in London, and New York. Coley’s work investigates how built environments influence collective behavior and outlooks.

We Must Cultivate Our Garden is a phrase taken from the last line of Voltaire’s Candide (1759). Voltaire’s implementation of the phrase “we must cultivate our garden” calls for action and participation rather than passive acceptance, indicating that happiness is cultivated through an active lifestyle that fosters personal growth. Nathan Coley’s artwork then promotes a sense of social-awareness and self-cultivation. One reading of the phase WMCOG is that it asks audiences to reflect upon personal responsibility, self-sufficiency, and a consideration of how the individual can get involved, take action, and help in creating change in a positive way. In its current context the artwork acts as a catalyst for thinking about environmental issues and our individual responsibility to our neighborhoods and cities. The installation stands as a beacon of national, local, and individual efforts while acting as a reminder not to give up!

Dixon Grove Junior Middle School student Parveen appeared on CBC's Metro Morning with Matt Galloway on May 29th.

Ev­ergreen Brick Works is a community envi­ron­mental centre in the heart of the Toronto ravine system, Ev­ergreen Brick Works is many things: a vibrant public space fea­tur­ing a local farm­ers’ mar­ket and retail garden mar­ket; a glob­al showcase for green design and urban innovation; and a “hands-in-the-dirt” learning space for youth and adults alike. Ev­ergreen Brick Works is a hub for high­light­ing innovative green ideas and technolo­gies, and introduc­ing sustainable solutions into the Ontar­io and glob­al mar­ketplace.

Commis­sioned by No.9: Con­temporary Art and the Envi­ron­ment
Curated by Andrew Davies
As­sistant Curator: Cara Said

Evergreen Brickworks
550 Bayview Ave,
Toronto, ON M4W 3X8



This project is generously supported by:
Evergreen Brickworks