Opera House Toyota sign to be used for art installation highlighting climate change 

Opera House Toyota sign to be used for art installation highlighting climate change 
The former Toyota sign at Cork Opera House dominated the Cork skyline for years.

A public art installation will aim to highlight climate change as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival 2019. Winner of the Toyotaya commission, artist Bill Balaskas, will transform selected letters of the original Toyota sign that were until recently hanging on three sides of the Cork Opera House fly-tower into flower pots.

The design ‘Red Air’ was commissioned by the National Sculpture Factory and the Cork Opera House. The title of the work and the colour of the plants are employed by the artist both as a symbol of alarm and danger, as well as a reference to Toyota’s original signs.

‘Red Air’ aspires to be an emphatic reminder that the dangers of ignorance and inaction are the biggest threats that we are collectively facing today.

A statement from the National Sculpture Factory said:

“There is increasing evidence suggesting we are rapidly approaching critical ‘tipping points’ in the way that human activity is altering our planet’s atmosphere. After crossing those thresholds, climate catastrophe on a global scale would become an inevitability. ‘Red Air’ is inspired by this historical and ideological context.

“Pairs of the same letters from the Toyota signs will create binaries expressing the urgent need to confront climate change and to respond to the dilemmas that we are faced with,” it said.

In each pair, the first letter will become a flower bed that will host a different type of red flora, while the second letter will be filled with red sand.

The letters will be initially positioned in front of the Cork Opera House, where the planting event will take place on June 13, the first day of the Midsummer Festival.

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