Standing Tall

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

Pillars of Justice, 2007
Located: McMurtry Gardens of Justice (361 University Avenue)
Artist: Edwina Sandys
Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

As you recall, there are eleven figures supporting the courthouse roof. But juries in Canada have twelve members. Where is the 12th juror?

If you look closely at the statue, you will see that there is an empty plinth in the statue.  It’s empty because the viewer is meant to place themselves within the statue.  The beauty of the trial by jury system is that anyone can be a juror, and Sandys ‘ omission allows its audience to become that ever important twelfth juror, even if it’s only within their mind’s eye.

Good public art draws people in to view it.  Great public art invites people to participate in the art itself. It is interactive. By encouraging people to become a living part of the Pillars of Justice, Edwina Sandys not only educates them on the importance as the trial by jury system, she allows them to experience first-hand why this right is so precious and important on an emotional level. It is no longer merely a statue to look at, but a personal encounter.

And that is what makes this piece so great.

One response to “Standing Tall

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

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