Toronto Through My Lens

“Safe Hands”

Sitting in front of the 76-storey tower One Bloor East (1 Bloor Street East) is a sculpture everyone calls “the oil cans”, and it’s easy to see why. Designed by Israeli-born, UK-based designer and architect Ron Arad, the installation is actually called Safe Hands. It stems from the City’s One Percent for Public Art Program, which mandates that 1% of project costs of building a condo/new highrise must go towards public art that is clearly visible at all times from publicly accessible areas.

The sculpture consists of a pair of intertwined stainless steel multi-jointed fingers with ruffled surfaces in spots, and flashes of bright yellow and red where sections end. Rising 88 feet high, the sculpture was designed by Ron Arad, and produced locally by Stephen Richards of Streamliner Fabrication Inc.

Originally planned as a dynamic sculpture with moving upper sections, the piece was redesigned as static when logistics proved too onerous (and likely too expensive to fix should it have broken at some point). The piece evokes a feeling of motion, which I’m sure was the intent of the sculptor’s design.

1 Comment

  1. David

    I like them. You were wise to do these in black and white, it brings out the shiny texture and folds so nicely. Well done.

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