Subway art brightens the city's gloomy underbelly.
INSTALLATION: “Spadina Summer Under All Seasons” by James Sutherland
LOCATION: Dupont station
Life blooms deep in Dupont station’s subterranean environment. Set against the tableau of harried commuters is a permanent, contrasting image: a mosaic mural of a blossoming white flower nestled in leaves.
“Spadina Summer Under All Seasons,” designed by James Sutherland, dates back to 1978, when the station first opened. Today, it reads as an homage to that psychedelic era, back when flower power was in vogue, and orange, brown, and yellow tones seemed to saturate design.
With their enormous scale, subways walls often make a perfect canvas for optical illusions and scenic landscapes—whatever evokes a sense that you’re being transported elsewhere or recalling a different era.
Depending on the artist’s take, subway art can enliven otherwise dreary, cavernous spaces that are more of a natural habitat for pizza rats and other little critters we’d prefer stay hidden.
In this case, the unlikely sight of a flower in bloom is a welcome departure from the grime and gloom of the city’s underbelly.