WATERFRONT BIA

MORE THAN WATER
Welcome Olamina to Aitken Place Park!

Welcome Olamina to Aitken Place Park!

Have you seen the newest Waterfront public art installation? The summer of public art continues with Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) Canada’s newest installation of Olamina. Olamina is a 6-foot-tall sculpture that can be found at Aitken Place Park until late October. The installation is part of BSAM Canada’s Waterfront Artist in Residency happening this summer! The Artist in Residency program is a partnership between Waterfront Toronto and the Waterfront BIA.

BSAM Canada’s public art project, Earthseeds: Space of the Living, includes a Kemetic Yoga series, the Olamina sculpture as well as an experimental short film.

ABOUT OLAMINA

“Olamina intersects both earth and water. Both represent dualities of elements and forces in life”

Olamina was created with inspiration from Octivia E. Butler’s Parable Series. Her name from the main character of the series, Lauren Oya Olamina, in addition to folktales about Mama Wata, the African water diety. Like Mami Wata, Olamina intersects both earth and water and both Mami Wata and Olamina represent the dualities of elements and forces in life.

INSPIRATION

BSAM Canada looks to four main sources of inspiration with this project: moving through chaos, Yoruba Symbolism, Mami Wata, and water. 2020 provided us with the opportunity to really slow down and put more thought into our decision making. Olamina draws attention to Toronto’s beautiful waterfront and what it means to be by water. “Water is a powerful source for physical and spiritual healing, and stimulating calm.”

BLACK YOUTH IN PUBLIC

This project was made in collaboration with Black youth in the community as well. BSAM Canada gave four Black youth the opportunity to be a part of Olamina. They were invited to help participate in the creation of Olamina and learn about themes of healing and inspiration that are found within BSAM Canada’s Earthseeds project. 

"Speaking more in terms of businesses, we've been able to bring in a lot of other waterfront organizations and businesses into this residency. We were able to speak with the Westin along with the Power Plant, the Harbourfront Centre, and the Waterfront Neighborhood Center. For us, it's been nice to see that bridging of all these different organizations collaborating on this one thing that we're putting out. "
Nico Taylor
Co-lead & Artist BSAM Canada

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