2 CIRCLES © Micah Lexier 2016, two walls – 30 x 26 feet and 47 x 24 feet, hand-glazed and hand-cut sticks of ceramic tile, Bay Adelaide Centre East Tower, Toronto ON
Commissioned by Brookfield Properties for Bay Adelaide Centre, Toronto ON
Photos: Tom Arban
Mosaika fabricated two artworks for artist Micah Lexier’s project at Bay Adelaide Centre East Tower, a dot and an outline.
Mosaika created hundreds of thousands of small ceramic sticks – each one a bit bigger than a matchstick – glazed either black or white.
It took about 30 people a full year to make the tiny tiles. Each stick was then snapped in two before it was placed in the massive mosaic that features 1.6 million separate pieces.
The works are equally striking whether one is driving by, or standing right next to the wall.
Two circles of identical size, identically positioned, occupy walls on either end of the Bay Adelaide Centre lobby. One circle is solid black, the other a thin, black outline. Viewed from afar, each circle reads as a perfect geometric shape on a smooth, white wall. As one gets closer, the work reveals itself to be far from perfect. It is an intricate, handmade ceramic tapestry rich with visual incident. The entire surface, both circle and wall, is composed of individually crafted, hand-placed ceramic sticks. Each of the 830,000 sticks has been broken in half, generating more than 1.6 million discrete elements. These breaks create a kind of line drawing that is reminiscent of heartbeats, stock market graphs and sound waves. At one point in every row this line is disrupted, creating an even more intimate level at which the work can be engaged. Through the use of scale, placement and materials, the universality of the circle is harnessed to create an artwork that holds a number of dichotomies in tension. It is at once simple and nuanced, monumental and intimate, visual and tactile, designed as much to be impactful from a distance as it is to be complex up close. Two Circles combines a subtle concept with painstaking fabrication to transform time, labour and humble materials into monumental form.