Our sculpture was conceived and created by artists of South Riverdale who work, volunteer, and access services at COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program. Over 60+ people contributed art and participated in creating the Memorial.
We are working with award-winning metal and printmaking artist, Rocky Dobey and collaborator Lara Lucretia.
Rocky Dobey: Bio
Rocky Dobey has been creating street art in Toronto for well over thirty years, for a good part of that time anonymously. Acclaimed by interventionist theorists and historians, activists, and innumerable people who recognize his plaques, sculptures and books from seeing them permanently fastened to public spaces, Rocky’s work has focussed on prison liberation issues, memorials and apocalypse. He is based at 401 Richmond and Punchclock metal shop, where he constructed the 8-foot flame clad with copper. Rocky’s contributions were instrumental in the development and creation of the memorial.
Rocky Dobey: Artist Statement
For many years I have made and installed memorial plaques on the streets of Toronto – from a piece honouring the ten people who died in the Rupert rooming house fire (early 80s) to plaques made for close friends who died of heroin overdoses. The only way this project could be completed was with equal community involvement. South Riverdale Health Centre came up with the idea for the memorial and have been amazingly committed to making this a project both from and for the community. Plans evolved at every meeting and, in the end, the artwork of over 40 people has been etched onto the 8-foot copper sculpture. But the sculpture is only a small part of this project; many more ideas have been generated, including a print exhibit, an annual memorial at the sculpture, and the simple storytelling of memories at these meetings; hopefully the project will continue to draw this community together.
Lara Lucretia: Bio
Lara is an illustrator, designer and screenprinter interested in creating images that impact the collective imagination and support political organizing. She has collaborated in the creation of anti-copyright artwork with the Beehive Design Collective. Lara’s art is as much about collaboration and skill sharing as it is about creating imagery. She is a health promoter who spends much of her time in community garden projects. Her work on the memorial involved etching and supporting others to get involved in the process.