This is why we can’t have nice things

Since the February 2nd launch, a number of artworks along the Pipeline Trail have been vandalized. Parts of the installations by Donna Akrey and Dave Gould at Andrew Warburton Memorial Park were stolen and damaged on the third day into the month-long festival.

Akrey’s piece was damaged again on Feb 5, after which the artist reconfigured her installation. The work was further damaged on Feb 12, repaired, and attacked again on Feb 16. The final blow was delivered during the night of Feb. 17 and the artist has removed all her pieces.

The final act of vandalism

Gould’s sound box is still popular with youth, families and dog-walkers, despite the damaged and missing parts. Trisha Lavoie’s installation of a cozy ice fishing hut with woollen supplies was damaged and tagged on February 11, then egged during the following night, and most of the small crochet pieces were stolen by February 13. Residents and visitors to the Pipeline trail have expressed their disappointment in the acts of vandalism. One neighbour rescued parts of Akrey’s installation from the trash, and alerted the organizers via the festival’s Facebook page. She commented, “I’m so sorry and sad the installation keeps being vandalized. Our family loves it.”

Dave Gould’s Sno-Throw after vandalism
Trisha Lavoie’s tagged fishing hut

Donna Akrey’s comment on the first attack of her installation was candid, “…the layers of meaning in a work to ‘replenish’ icebergs being vandalized is pretty poignant.” The project, which spans the Crown Point and Homeside neighbourhoods in East Hamilton, addresses climate change. Inspired by the pipe that has supplied the city of Hamilton with fresh water for more than 100 years, five contemporary artists responded in different disciplines and media.

Red Tree artists’ collective has previously collaborated with Hamilton Dialogues and Pipeline Trail Hamilton to creatively engage neighbourhoods that are quite remote from the arts district in the sense of both geographic distance and absence of art in public space. In the past four years, residents have lent their properties for murals and projections, and have participated in workshops and presentations. Edgardo Moreno’s piece involved two residential locations along the trail – the façade of 331 Britannia Av served as a 9:16 projection screen at the opening, and the piece is now installed in a window facing the trail at Fairfield Av (7-9 each evening). For previous deLight festivals, Crown Point neighbours installed lanterns, helped build a 1000 bottle waterfall, and assembled plastic bag trees. This year, they came together to crochet snowflakes from milk bag plarn. Unfortunately, even the community art installation had to be repaired during the first week. Klyde Broox’s poem-as-image on the fence of Geraldine Copps Parkette on Kenilworth is the only installation that has not been attacked.

Documentation of the works before the damage can be found on vimeo as follows:

Donna Akrey https://vimeo.com/389767185

Dave Gould https://vimeo.com/389495880

Trisha Lavoie https://vimeo.com/391990835

For a map of all the installations, please see our Last Days of Ice and Snow page.

For more information please contact Ingrid at <redtree@sympatico.ca>