The First Freedom

Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Freedom of Religion, 2012
Located: McMurtry Gardens of Justice (361 University Avenue)
Artist: Marlene Hilton Moore
Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

I am really impressed by the level of Marlene Hilton Moore’s artistry. These figures are so lifelike and elegant, and yet incredibly subdued. There is not a detail or addition to this work that feels gratuitous. That is a fine line to walk and when you consider that Moore is entirely self-taught, that speaks volumes of her skill as a sculptor.

It’s  interesting that Moore chose these two freedoms, Religion and Expression, for her contribution to the gardens. Of all the rights guaranteed by the Charter, these two are the ones most often in conflict. History has many examples of when the freedom to express one’s opinions being used to place members of a particular religion at risk of persecution. The same is true of freedom of religion. It has frequently been used as a means of curtailing and suppressing someone’s free expression, particularly artists, writers, and free-thinkers. Yet here they are, facing one another, in a garden dedicated to justice, unperturbed in each other’s company.

Perhaps it’s an example we can all strive for.

One response to “The First Freedom

  1. Pingback: An Embarrassment of Riches | Public Art of Toronto·

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