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Harbourfront Centre's Fresh Ground new works nurtures and grows collaborative
commissioned art works beginning with The Terrarium Project - May 13 to July 9, 2006

TORONTO, May 4, 2006 - Living artifacts are housed in theory and in reality at The Terrarium Project - an exhibition rooted in converting conceptual fiction into installation reality. The first of five Fresh Ground new works through Spring 2007 - this multidisciplined collaborative free admission art project takes place from May 13 to July 9 at Harbourfront Centre.

The Terrarium Project features several unusual terrariums presented as living artifacts collected by a fictional scientist (Mary Manis) and eventually donated to a fictional institution (The Manchester Letherium - www.letherium.org). Real collaborators representing the arts and horticulture (Rebecca Duclos and David Ross, Denton Fredrickson, Andrew Hunter, Eric Roesler and Gail Singer) have created the origins of the objects and individuals connected to each terrarium. Their representations layer fiction and reality even further as the works they create are fictional museum artifacts donated as a collection to the Manchester Letherium - which is itself a fictional/real museum creation housing decommissioned art and historical objects no longer needed or wanted by other institutions for display or research.

A photograph of people at a 1919 picnic, found among the donated items, acts as a connecting point for the characters in the exhibition. At the exhibition the audio narrative of Mary Manis (seen as a young girl in the photo) guides the audience's experience of her collection as presented by the museum. Several curious narratives emerge: A child's obsessive collecting of glass triggered by degenerative blindness. A herbalist who experiments on the Nepentherium - a collection of live plants, seeds and dried specimans of psychotropic plants. A developer who met a suspicious demise and an eccentric collection of ceramic squirrel planters. An oddly matched pair of scientists experience an outbreak of moss.

For more info on The Terrarium Project - its artists, works and background please visit:
http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/noflash/freshground/2006/terrarium.php

Panya Clark Espinal and Crystal Mowry (Liminal Solutions) are project leads of The Terrarium Project.

The Terrarium Project is tied to the Manchester Letherium project through the artistic and curatorial efforts of Liminal Solutions (Panya Clark Espinal and Crystal Mowry) - who are connecting and interwining the fictional realities of both through the exhibition's conception and installation. Their architectural proposal for the Manchester Letherium was the Recipient of the A.J. Samuels Prize for Most Beguiling Presentation (http://www.letherium.org/finalists/liminal_solutions.htm).

The Terrarium Project exhibition is located at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto). Exhibition hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (noon to 6 p.m), Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (noon to 8 p.m.). Closed Monday's except on civic holidays. For more info call 416-973-4000.

Fresh Ground new works is a Harbourfront Centre initiative to commission new multi-disciplinary artworks. From 159 applications, 5 projects were each awarded a $20,000 commission. Fresh Ground new works is made possible by the generosity of several individual donors who have actively assisted in the creation of new Canadian art works: Peter Allen, Lionel Conacher and Joan Dea, James D. and Margaret Fleck, Sonja and Michael Koerner, Judy and Wil Matthews, Sandra and Jim Pitblado, Gretchen and Donald Ross, Anonymous, and a grant from Imperial Tobacco Canada Arts Fund.

Upcoming Fresh Ground new works include:
Sept.-Nov. 2006 - 15 Restless Nights: an image, text and sound collaborative art installation of a voyeuristic journey across the night-time landscape of Canada. Photos of motel rooms and an original Jazz piece enthrall in both offical languages.
April 2007 - Bridge of One Hair: a community art project originating in central Etobicoke which uses the rituals and objects of tea drinking, storytelling, music, text and imagery to bridge diverse communities;
Spring 2007 - Static: a performance, installation and experiential look at manís deepest fears and living life to the fullest.
Spring 2007 - Trudeau: Long Shining Path: a contemporary opera based on the life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau mixing elements of Cuban, Chinese, contemporary Classical and Jazz music

For more information on the Fresh Ground new works series
of commissioned collaborative works please visit:
http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/noflash/freshground/freshground.php

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Media Contacts:
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655, sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com
Bruce Hutchinson, 416-973-4677, bhutchinson@harbourfrontcentre.com
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