The latest creative series from Toronto-born, internationally acclaimed commercial photographer David Wile, 39, Park Closed, is perhaps his most ambitious, compelling and historically significant to date. Inspired by a walk in Toronto with his daughter during the COVID-19 pandemic, Park Closed offers a birds-eye-view of recreational design – from a set of monkey bars to the Aviva Centre – at a time when citizens are forbidden to gather publicly. A bleak aerial drone collection of abandoned spaces where youth normally gather for sport and play, Park Closed is not only an exploration of symmetry and structure but also a reflection of the loneliness experienced by those who spent months in forced isolation during the nationwide lockdown.
Unable to articulate to his young daughter the implications of associating with family and friends
during the terror of this newest coronavirus, David was of two minds when he created Park Closed.
On one hand, the series acknowledges the loss of innocence of a generation of children who learned their beloved play spaces posed a potentially dangerous threat to those around them. On the other, David hopes people will discover in these images a temporary exile that collides with a frisson of anticipation for the day when these collective spaces are once again bustling with kinesthetic human interaction.
A selection of six sporting venue pieces from Park Closed – LIST OF NAMES OF PIECES – will be
on display at the Only One Gallery at 5 Brock Avenue, Toronto, for the month of July, 2020, as the city continues to grapple with the devastating effects of the pandemic. The intention of these six pieces, starkly geometrical in the absense of humanity, is to help people reconnect with past memories, reflect on the current reality of their city and contemplate the return of sporting events – and a sense of normalcy – to Toronto.
“I hope these images will be a reminder of how amazing life can be and how bad things can get
if we don’t take care of ourselves and our planet.” - David Wile
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