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Home /  Exhibitions / Past Exhibitions / Forever (Bird-Botanicals)
Installation of clay birds on a wall

Forever (Bird-Botanicals)

Sat August 21 to 31, 2021, All Day

Community Arts Space 2021
Project led by David Constantino Salazar
In collaboration with participants from Workman Arts

Established in 2016, Community Arts Space (CAS) is the Gardiner’s incubator for arts-based projects that build community through clay making. As part of CAS2021, David Constantino Salazar, a Toronto-based sculptor, transforms the Exhibition Hall into a venue for collective feeling and cooperative thinking with a series of over 500 individually hand-sculpted, wall-mounted pieces produced in red clay and created during Salazar’s month-long residency at the Gardiner. The installation is presented in partnership with members of Workman Arts, a Toronto-based arts organization that promotes a greater understanding of mental health and addiction.

Upon entering the Exhibition Hall, the viewer is confronted by what appears to be a flock of birds that have flown directly into the wall. There is an ambiguity between the recognizable bird anatomy (feathers/wings) and the plant forms such as orchids and varying foliage that make up each amorphous shape.

Inspired by folk tales and allegories passed on from his grandparents in Ecuador, Salazar poignantly asks viewers to contemplate the cultural symbolism associated with birds such as freedom, love, divinity, and peace, intertwined with the abrupt juxtaposition of the bird’s metaphorical loss of flight. The work represents decomposition and transformation from one state of being (bird) to another (plant), alluding to a continuum of metamorphosis. Salazar encourages the viewer to ponder the concept of human resilience and what life looks like after trauma, an idea especially pertinent as we begin to recover from the impact of the global pandemic.

David Constantino Salazar is a Toronto-based sculptor with a Master in Fine Arts degree from OCAD University. His research focuses on the double intended messages in traditional fable stories. The allegories in his work invite the viewer to reflect on the human experience through traditional animal-based narrative. Salazar’s studio practice is highly focused on the tradition of hand modeling clay and the fabrication process of casting in bronze, resin, or ceramic.

An Ecuadorian-Canadian artist, Salazar examines the confluence of his symbolic and ancestral roots as a South American and his daily life in Canada. A recipient of multiple residencies internationally and domestically, Salazar has represented Canada at the International Biennial of Asuncion (Paraguay) and completed the Studio Research Residency (Flora & Fauna) in Tiradentes, Brazil. In Canada, he was awarded the AKIN Studio Residence Program at MOCA Toronto and has been invited to the Creative Professionals-in-Residence Mentor Program at OCAD University.

His public commissions include Carnival, Rio de Janeiro (2012) and the Spadina Museum, Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2015). In 2015, he was commissioned by First Capital Realty Inc. for two permanent public art sculptures in Georgetown, Ontario. Salazar is currently working on Hogtown, a public art commission to be installed in Toronto’s west end neighborhood Parkdale.

Workman Arts is a multidisciplinary arts organization that promotes a greater understanding of mental health and addiction issues through creation and presentation. They support artists living with mental health and addiction issues through peer-to-peer arts education, public presentations, and partnerships with the broader arts community.

Workman Arts Participants: Althea Knight, Gladys Lou, Tk Workman, Amber Reid, Jean fode, Ysabel Tuason, Taryn Lee, Victoria Brecht, claro cosco, Stephanie Avery, Mei Chan-Long, Susana Meza , Gregory Fortnum, Natalie Boon, Lorette C. Luzajic, Kristine Maitland, V Vallières, Corrine Darvill, Colette Vanier, Claire Mercer, Anja Sagan, Bo Tran

Workman Arts Participant Quotes


Wednesday August 25, 5 – 7 pm
Forever (Bird-Botanicals) Celebration
The Diane Wolfe Lecture
Meet the artist and community participants at a celebration featuring a performance by multi-instrumentalist Adrian Gordon Cook.
Learn more

Supporting Sponsors

Susan Crocker & John Hunkin