This full-scale mural is a community-based Public Art project commissioned by the City of Markham, led by blowtorch performance artist James Ruddle and completed in collaboration with students and alumni from various Markham high schools; Amy Wu, Ben Baker, Vivan Chen, Quinn Ellul, Sarah Raboth, Vithunan Sivakumar, Tiffany Yang, and Pei Ying.
The mural shows Thornhill through a progression/transition from the natural to the urban. While the paintings on the the north face of the bridge embankment are a collection promoting the history of our “Great Northern Landscape”, this landscape image is reminiscent of the works of the Group of Seven, for whom J.E.H. MacDonald’s home in Thornhill was a popular meeting place.
Ruddle’s work incorporates the classical tradition of this group of artists morphing into a contemporary take on urban graffiti. Shifting Landscapes symbolizes the transformation of the natural environment moving towards urbanization and new construction, starting on the shores of Lake Ontario and heading northward.
Watch the timelapse video of this project being created:
The mural is located on Henderson Ave, under the CN rail bridge