Public Art > Waylight - Valley Park

Stage 2 Finalist

Natalie Hunter
Valley Park Public Library

Concept Statement

Waylight is a luminous photo-based installation that responds to landscape, memory, and place within Valley Park’s local Hamilton Mountain landscapes. Caught in-between motion and stasis, material and immaterial, light and time, it speaks to our intimate relationships with a place, it’s landscape, it’s history, and a community’s memories through time. As a young child, I grew up attending the Valley Park recreation centre and public library. Retracing my childhood footsteps, I collect images of the Valley Park creek, the iconic wooden bridge, and the natural flora of the region. Embracing an experimental use of photography materials and camera function, I use colour filters to distinguish layered moments in time, and sunlight to illuminate the photographs on transparent film. Light is used to construct imagery within the camera, in the post-production process, and in it’s presentation. Photographs on transparent film appear to curl, fold, drape, and float in space while casting latent images and shadows onto surrounding surfaces. This use of light makes reference to the prismatic glass skylight dome that sits atop the Valley Park public pool, and the changing light within this space.

Through this process, I consider how the image of a landscape can rest in memory while remaining in a constantly changing physical state. The layered landscapes in Waylight are caught in a state of transition; enabling viewers to experience the routes I have taken as they walk along the sidewalk next to the mural. Resembling a timeline, pieces of light, a roll of film, or a mental map, time and space are extended and stretched across the length of the building. It is my hope that Waylight becomes an experience for the diverse communities around Valley Park as they continue to witness the rapid growth of their neighbourhoods, and the complicated impact of suburban sprawl on a changing landscape.

- Natalie Hunter