ArtVenturist: Roaming Rabbits | cityscape | Torontoist
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ArtVenturist: Roaming Rabbits

Let the rabbits run free, for the sake of Easter.

ArtVenturist looks at the public art that fills the city around us.

Remembered Sustenance by Cynthia Short Photo: Beatrice Paez

“Remembered Sustenance” by Cynthia Short
Photo: Beatrice Paez

BY: Cynthia Short
LOCATION: 55 John Street, south of Metro Hall
INSTALLATION: 1992

With Easter just around the corner, Cynthia Short’s herd-kennel of bronze rabbit-dog creatures is an appropriate way to note the season.

The sculptures, known collectively as Remembered Sustenance, have grazed a small patch of territory near Metro Hall at Wellington and John streets since 1992, where they continue to be on the list of top public art works in Toronto.

The herd-kennel (hennel? kernel?) of hybrid animals is a bit of a head-scratcher for passersby. It is entirely possible, after all, for a creature that looks like a cross between a bunny and a puppy to exist. Others insist it is also part-cow. And the mind-bender may well be part of what makes it fun.

While no urban critter is quite as wily as the raccoon in finding food, these long-eared creatures seem to be just as ruled by their appetites. Half the group has its sights set on reaching the communal dish; others have apparently had their fill. They’re an orderly bunch, not jockeying one another to get a bigger share.

Short intended the sculpture to be an extension of the nearby daycare’s playground. Children could hop on the creatures and imagine themselves transported to wherever their imagination could take them. It’s easy enough to craft one’s own story—a curtain drawn by two birds and at the bottom, a bronze dish with an outline of a ballerina, complete the installation.

What Short might not have anticipated was that they would bring out the kid in all of us. Long before the advent of Instagram and Facebook, tourists and Torontonians alike have taken snapshots of and with the herd if only to say, “Believe it or not.”


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