Weston Public, showing this week at 1030 Weston Rd, is well worth a visit. It was created by Sarah Sharkey Pearce and Mariangela Piccione.
The show is both a documentary and an architecture exhibit, and it is housed in a small, minimalist, ground-floor bachelor apartment-cum-gallery. Piccione was there to graciously describe the exhibit.
Three small, white, pristine building models are set up around the room, and a tiny video is projected on each. My favourite was a layered representation of Little Park. On the top layer, Piccione had crafted models of the archway, cenotaph, and bandshell. Layers below show a map of Weston, the stone fences around the park, and the topography of Humber River. The floating layers and the white models make the geography and features of the landscape seem light and abstract. The video is interview explanation of the changes in Weston over the past decades.
Piccione said she and Sarah Sharkey-Pearce made short documentaries and models of “small microsites from the neighbourhood. It’s a portrait”. They are “trying to see the places through the eyes of the people who use them.” Rather than create a long-form documentary, they created episodes, because they felt that “the narrative arc demands closure. These are different ways of seeing the neighbourhood, in the same room, together.”
Both Sharkey Pearce and Piccione grew up in the region. Piccione said,
“I grew up just outside the neighbourhood, and Sarah grew up in Weston. And we always come back.
I found out that it was this ‘priority neighbourhood’. [But] it is important to understand the neighbourhood through the people who live here; it’s more than the labels that get put on it”
Weston Public runs until Saturday from 1 till 6 on weekdays, and from 12 until 7 on the weekend.