Dividers Made Into A Juncture

2016, vintage wrought iron fencing, powdercoated. In collaboration with Jennifer Davis.

This world is full of fences. Some of them are necessary: ones that keep people from straying into hazardous areas for example. Others perhaps do more harm than good. Some fences simply divide people. Fences that only serve to delineate private property seem inherently antisocial; in both concrete and psychological ways they fragment neighbourhoods and compartmentalize people from one another. They convey distrust. We see the removal of fences from property lines as a way of effecting positive social change and fostering community cohesion, especially when they are repurposed with an open invitation to use them freely.

The first commissioned piece of public art under the leadership of Barrie’s Public Art Committee was selected by a jury of artists and community leaders from several expressions of interest with the aim of creating an original permanent outdoor sculpture that functions as a bicycle rack. Installed in the summer of 2016 in front of the downtown branch of the Barrie Public Library, it incorporates vintage, local wrought iron fencing into an outdoor installation, with the intention of encouraging civic dialogue about the nature of public and private space within the city and bolstering the city's cycling infrastructure. In Dividers Made Into a Juncture, fence sections that once divided neighbours from one another are repurposed as a community meeting place. X marks the spot.

Grateful acknowledgements:
Umberto Palermo, Ivano Vatri and René Morin, of Palermo Railings, Barrie
Dan & Erin Renwick and Endeman’s Ironcraft Ltd for their donations of vintage fencing
Vito Colucci and Yorkton Contracting Ltd
Assistants Paige Connell and Natasha Genge
Mike Coughlin of Double Door Studios and Gallery
Powder Tech Ltd. Barrie
The Barrie Public Art Committee, John D. Bell, Ted Fullerton, Ted Handy, Janet Lougheed, Mike McCann, Marlene Hilton Moore, Carol-Ann Ryan, Barry Ward.
The competition jurors,
Staff from the City of Barrie; Onalee Groves, Walter Fischer, Wade Leblanc, Amanda Dyke