Old World Meets Nouveau Art at Landslide in Markham

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Ok so I just learned that city of Markham has an outdoor Museum! From September 21 – October 14th the Markham Museum has been turned into a large-scale outdoor public art exhibition. The Land|Slide Possible Futures exhibitions worked with 30 international and Canadian artists to transform the 25-acre Markham Museum into a unique nouveau outdoor art gallery. Pitting old world life with new futuristic displays all trying to answer the question: how to balance ecology and economy, farming and development, history and diversity.

The result is a beautiful walk through the Markham Museum grounds to explore the various art exhibits including this strange carousel exhibit called “There’s Things That Even a Drunk Will Never Forget” by Terrane Houle, which happens to be the first exhibit I encountered upon walking onto the Markham grounds. I was drawn by the wonky sounding music and flashing lights. The music in the display includes songs performed by the artist himself and include songs representing love, ghosts and betrayal.

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As I walked along the paths from one exhibit to the other following the map in the Land|Slide booklet I couldn’t help but appreciate the many different types of Sunflowers that were artistically spread out around the Museum. Curved bunches of flowers acting as a fence or a path in various heights and sizes. Every bunch that I passed I just had to take a photo.

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It was interesting to see all the old farm buildings converted into these interesting art installations, meant to represent various themes around community, sustainability and the future.

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When I reached “the Farm” exhibit by Andre Bieler I was lucky to arrive as Heather Rigby was speaking about features of the exhibit. Developed to explore the future of farming in our community this exhibit includes vertical farming plants and winding vegetable beds. In the middle of the Farm was a vertical plant meant to represent a women in the field. It was so detailed it included little legs under the dress of leaves which Heather showed us.

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Other exhibits included the “Textured Structure” a small house that was constructed for the exhibit. Each of the building outer four walls was covered with different materials to symbolize there are other sustainable and accessible building materials we can use in construction.

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Light and video were used in many installations next to the old farm equipment, and displays from the Markham Museum’s original collection. An interesting way to show the future possibilities and something I have never experienced before.

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The Land|Slide Possible Futures exhibit is on until October 14th at the Markham Museum. Admission is free and the event can be seen both day and night (check of hours of operation for night displays). You can also participate in a number of artist talks and guided tours of the grounds or view one of the many panels and workshops featuring the artists and exhibitors. For more information on the event and the scheduled tours and speakers visit their website here.

Sharon M is a travel blogger and writer at Dream Travel Magazine an online travel blog based in Thornhill, Ontario.