“In the 1970s there wasn’t a lot of art on display in public areas. Things began to change with works like Barren Ground Caribou by Joyce Wieland, an enormous quilt that features caribou in a landscape. This was a major project that I worked on with Joyce for the Spadina subway station. Joyce wanted to bring the tundra landscape to downtown Toronto, but in a completely surprising and feminine way, so she created the large installation as a quilt.
“When this piece was unveiled in 1978, people were so excited! Subways are an essential characteristic of great cities. Placing art in the Spadina line was a moment of civic pride that filled what had been something of a cultural deficit until then.
“The Toronto public art consultant Rina Greer also worked on the Spadina subway line project at the same time. Like I do, she points to this important moment in Toronto’s history as a key highlight of her career.”