River Rising

Artists: Sean Frey & Sonja Rainey
Storytellers: Sharada Eswar, Diana Tso and Marie Gaudet
Community partners: Interval House, Evergreen Brick Works and First Nations School
Location: Gerrard Street Bridge Foundation (temporary)

A clay mural created with community members inspired by tales of river creatures from diverse cultures: Chinese water dragons, Ojibwe serpent people and Kaliya, the multi-headed snake from Hindu mythology. Although these stories differ in many respects, all find common ground in their teaching of the importance of living in balance with nature. Supernatural creatures which wield power through flooding and natural disaster can be appeased by our respectful relationships with rivers, lakes and streams.

The smooth surface of the bridge’s foundation shows traces of floods, the river’s own drawings in high-water mud. The choice of clay for this mural was inspired by these spontaneous drawings and offers a low-impact artistic medium for ecologically sensitive environments.