James Ruddle with Amy Wu, Vivan chen, Sarah Raboth, Quinn Ellu, Ben Baker, Pei Ying, Tiffany Yang, Vithunan Sivakumar
The full scale mural is a community-based project led by artist James Ruddle and completed with Markham High School students and alumni.
The mural brings the old and new Thornhill together showing a progression/transition from the natural to the urban. While the paintings on the other side of the bridge are a collection promoting the history of our “Great Northern Landscape”, the landscape image is reminiscent of the works of the Group of Seven (for who J.E.H. MacDonald’s home in Thornhill was a popular meeting place), incorporating the classical tradition of this group morphing into a contemporary take on urban graffiti. The proposed mural symbolizes the transformation of the natural environment moving towards urbanization and new construction starting on the shores of Lake Ontario and moving up to the North.
James Ruddle graduated with Honours from McMaster University Fine Arts Program. Ruddle describes is work as a Process of Creation that includes drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, video, media, installation and blow torch performance art. The juxtaposition of forces, like fire and light, nature and culture, and the natural and urban are dominant themes in his work.