Toronto Zoo new art Installation features BIPOC women  

On Saturday, the In our Nature art project was presented at the Toronto Zoo. The murals feature portraits of Scarborough community leaders, mentors, social activists and artists.

Toronto Zoo project

An art installation at the eastern end of Toronto commemorates the contribution of five BIPOC women to the community.

On Saturday, the In our Nature art project was presented at the Toronto Zoo. The murals feature portraits of Scarborough community leaders, mentors, social activists and artists.

“The work is often done by indigenous women, black women, women of colour and other undervalued communities,” said Shafia Shaikh, lead artist on the EWOC (Color Women’s Fairness) project.

Each portrait is painted over with floral designs and greenery that is expected to fade out over time to show the women emerging from the background. Viewers can also scan the QR codes attached to each portrait to learn more about the women featured.

The Honour project

According to Sheikh, the purpose of the mural is to empower women in BIPOC, change the story of safety and create a sense of belonging to the community.

“Far too often they are not really represented or a lot of times unrecognized or undervalued for the work that they do, so we really hope by spotlighting these five individuals, we can kind of spark that conversation of what community care looks like and who is carrying the bulk of that labour,” Shaikh said.

Lady Perlin Hamilton Morris was a Scaborough community worker and one of the hottest women. She thanked the women for their role in supporting the members of the community.

“Let’s work together as women of culture. We may come from different cultures of the world, different cuts of the earth, but we say we are one.” Morris said.

In our Nature is part of the City of Toronto’s Cultural Hotspot Signature project, in collaboration with Mural Routes, the E.W.O.C. Project, the Toronto Zoo and The Community Arts Guild.

QR codes are also attached to listen to The Community Arts Guild choir through their phones while viewing the paintings.

The final reveal was scheduled to take place on Oct. 16.