Garden of the Greek Gods - Update August 2014
I had the pleasure of going on a fresh tour at Muzik Night Club at Exhibition Place yesterday to view the state of E.B. Cox’s Garden of the Greek Gods.
See my previous post here: http://werebearscomics.tumblr.com/post/90067332669/movethegods-here-is-my-original-post-about-the
E.B. Cox’s daughter, Kathy Sutton, was in attendance and spoke passionately about her father’s work and the unfortunate state of it today. She stated that the Gods have been moved at least three times in the past and of course there’s no good reason that they should not be moved as a group now.
After comparing new photos to ones taken in 2012, it’s clear that in addition to becoming luxurious patio decorations, the sculptures have also been “cleaned”; they are much brighter and seem to have been power washed or sand blasted and the patina has been, for the most part, removed. I don’t know who authorized or did this, or how much additional damage has been done to the work through this process.
The Narcissus figure has a fresh and mysterious stain on his forehead, and we found still-soft gum in the backside of Hercules. Several of the pieces are butted up between fencing and patio structures, while others are located adjacent to bathroom facilities. I acknowledge that, if still on public grounds these sculptures would be subject to the damage and wear of the public and any outside natural forces, but the point is they are currently in the care of a private music club and it seems they are not doing a very good job.
For the time being, Muzik is offering public access to the Greek Gods on Fridays at 10 AM and a website is apparently in the works.
It was so disheartening to see the state of the figures up close, but also uplifting to meet the dedicated group of people working to free the gods.
Here’s the Facebook page:
Here’s the online petition to have the gods moved back into public space:
Here’s a lovely page at the Ingram Gallery’s website about E.B. Cox and the gods (the Toronto gallery that represents his work):
And here’s an awesome short doc about Cox from TVO in the 1990s:
Please share and sign the petition and help get out the word that the City of Toronto is doing an incredibly poor job of protecting its public art. As Kathy Sutton put it - who will donate or support public art in Toronto when they see what happens to one of the most ambitious group of sculptures that has ever come into their care?
Contact Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton: @m_layton