rock solid, working out in the shadows

Posted: April 29, 2018 in public art
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

subtitle: Finding treasures

Hidden behind ivy, on a building at Ryerson University, are three relief sculptures of men in athletic poses.   There’s also a line of trees beside the building that they are on.  No wonder I’ve missed them on previous walks down Nelson Mandela Way.  Today the light was shining on them just the right way .

below: Javelin thrower.  Does his left arm look a little awkward?

on a wall, covered with ivy plant (early spring so no leaves), relief sculpture of a man from the side, about to throw a javelin,

below:  Man with a ball, and covered with ivy vines which was designed in 1962 by Elizabeth Wyn Wood (They are all the work of the same artist?)

on a wall, covered with ivy plant (early spring so no leaves), relief sculpture of a man with legs spread apart, with a ball on his shoulder, arms bent upwards at elbow

below: Lifting weights.

on a wall, covered with ivy plant (early spring so no leaves), relief sculpture of a man with legs spread apart, and holding barbells across his shoulders, weight lifter,

Elizabeth Winifred Wood (1903-1966), also known as Elizabeth Wyn Wood, was born in Orillia.  She graduated from OCA (Ontario College of Art) in 1925.  Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, many new buildings in Toronto were decorated with relief sculptures on their exterior walls.  Although many of these buildings have since been demolished, you can still see some sculptures as you walk around downtown.   By the time that Wyn Wood designed these (and other) sculptures for Ryerson in the early 1960’s, the use of relief sculptures in this context was fading.

Comments
  1. Flavio Belli says:

    Louis Temporale, (1909–1994), may have actually carved the reliefs for Wyn Wood.

    • Mary C says:

      Thanks for the comment. I just did a quick search online – it seems that Louis Temporale did do some carving for Wyn Wood, including the two pieces on the old Maclean Hunter building on University Ave in 1958 (that are still there). I can see how Wyn Wood would have someone else do the carving of her designs. I am going to change the wording in the blog post to say that Wyn Wood designed the sculptures.

  2. Joanne Sisco says:

    Small details from the past. so cool that you found them!

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