The Burn art installation aims to bring hope to Torontonians 

Happening in many locations in Toronto, with a special event at Nathan Phillips Square on March 11–12

The Burn at Todmorden Mills.
The Burn travelling vessel makes its presence at Todmorden Mills (Marcia Dubsky/ Toronto Observer)  

Roger Mooking recalls how he thought of The Burn for the first time. 

“I kind of found myself in a not great place, and I realized that a lot of people were in that same place, you know,” Mooking says. “We’re experiencing this global kind of meltdown of society.”

But he went to bed that night and woke up the next morning with the idea of helping people to heal themselves from the pandemic. He thought about suggesting to people to bring their intentions for the post-pandemic world onto spheres and burning them. Then, take the ashes and repurpose them in community gardens. 

The Burn installation has been running at different communities in Toronto, including Todmorden Mills in the east end since Jan. 9. and will finish at a big ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square on March 11, the third anniversary of the official start of the pandemic, where the burn is going to last for a period of 24-hour. 

Chef, musician and TV host, Mooking created the initiative in collaboration with artist and designer Javid Jah and artist Wyandot Elder Catherine Tammaro.

The initiative is part of Stronger Together, a program for Toronto residents to reflect and heal from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main idea is to help people to heal by placing an intention onto a cedar sphere and put it in a wooden vessel to burn. Many cultures have a long history of using fire and water as a healing and cleansing tool, according to Mooking.

The Burn art installation is intended to help people heal after difficult times during the pandemic. (Marcia Dubsky/Toronto Observer)

The fossils are supposed to be for the community, so the artists wanted to make sure they could touch every corner of the city.

A related 24-hour event is to take place downtown in front of City Hall.

“From sunset on March 11 to sunset on March 12, we’re taking over Nathan Phillips Square, we’re building 310-foot monuments of perforated steel, fire, lightning sound, city and 30-foot plumes of water,” Mooking said. 

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Posted: Feb 17 2023 10:39 pm
Filed under: News