When I began to think of the curatorial theme for this year’s Ontario Place Winter Festival it didn’t make any sense to me. What does cocoon have anything to do with light, or winter? Then I realized that light had everything to do with cocoon. Light is energy. It generates life and as a form of energy it embodies a cocoon that nourishes growth and transformation. So I designed an installation with light as the central medium. In GENESIS, the beams of light are all directed to the centre of sculpture, and even though the beams will have visible trajectory, light will still pass through the centre. It will only be when someone stands within the sculpture to capture the beams of light that the true form of the sculpture takes shape. Standing at the centre of GENESIS people are given a moment to experience being saturated in light. Every movement they make will be deflected by the beams creating a dynamism between the person(s) and the light of the piece. The focus of light to a single point has many cultural, scientific and religious references. What they all have in common is the notion that the concentration of light creates a focus of thought, a form of incubation, a point of transformation, a genesis. So I welcome everyone to pose within GENESIS to become the focal point of light and energy.
Tonya Hart was born in Grand Falls Newfoundland in 1973 and grew up in rural Ontario before moving to Toronto in 1992. She studied at York University and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts degree in 1998. Her artwork draws inspiration from nature, science and light. Notable solo exhibitions include the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2018); Canadian Sculpture Centre (2009); and group shows at the Portal Art Fair (2017) in SoHo, NYC and two previous exhibitions with the Ontario Place Winter Light Festival. In 2011, Tonya entered the public art realm with INFRA commissioned by the city of Toronto for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, becoming the first of three exhibitions for Nuit Blanche. She has since worked with cities across Canada including three commissions for the National Capital Commission in Ottawa.