Toronto based artist Logan MacDonald presents a new work, Fruit, at Evergreen Brick Works as part of Evergreen’s call for public art projects addressing issues of equity in public space.
For this project, MacDonald has collaborated with Ojibwa farmer Isaac Crosby, Evergreen’s Lead Hand in Urban Agriculture, to plant and care for pawpaw trees — Indigenous fruit trees that were once populous in Southern Ontario — at Evergreen Brick Works.
Re-introducing paw paw trees to the ravine landscape at Evergreen, MacDonald addresses the lack of native fruit-bearing trees in Toronto’s parks and draws connections to this absence as an erasure of Indigenous culture in public spaces. Focusing on the ways in which green spaces and public parks are controlled by colonial value systems, Fruit draws attention to historical and ongoing restrictions for Indigenous people in the area regarding access to traditional lands, trade routes, resources and sustenance.
The project demarks an anti-colonial monument where planting pawpaw trees attempts to reclaim this land as an engagement site for Indigenous people by providing plants that offer sustenance, or at the very least symbolically honour a time when this land nourished Indigenous people in Southern Ontario.