Hanging On

Taking some time to stop and watch the world around us can be quite fascinating and a real learning experience. 

 I recently stood on several occasions watching the dismantling of some office buildings in Etobicoke, that are making way for new residential and retail properties. I was struck not only by how complex the buildings were, but also how careful the demolition was. No explosions or wrecking balls, but machines with long slender arms and steady hands that tugged and pushed at support posts, ceilings and floors, bit by bit, encouraging them to relax and fall to the ground below. Many people would probably know the machines as demolitions cranes! Presumably it was done this way to reduce the impact as far as possible for people living nearby. One man I spoke to was, understandably, not very happy about the noise, the dust and the dirt flying around. This was in spite of the fact that the whole demolition process was carefully managed and included a constant flow of water from a hose trying to damp down the dust from debris is it landed. Very dusty and noisy work however it’s done! 

 I created a number of images from these visits, and will soon be producing a few more. I made the composite at the top of this page using one of the images I took and added various layers of texture and colour, as well as some digital painting. I was hoping to give it a slightly ancient look to reflect that the building was a disappearing product of the past - not that it was ancient by any stretch to the imagination! Nineteen seventies or eighties, I think. The two below, which you can find in my black and white gallery, show a little bit of the demolition drama.


All of these images help highlight the plethora of wires and cables embedded in the concrete structure but hanging exposed for all to see. They remind me that a building isn’t a simple thing but involves foundations, many materials, rules, patterns and designs, as well as a lot of hard labour. A complex web of learning and skills culminating in a final product for all to see.