Eye on the Square

Lisa Neighbour

Eye on the Square
1994

The influence of folk art is evidenced in the bright colours and the repeated stencil motifs painted on the plywood surface of the Eye on the Square. It shows the artist returning to the roots of the original influence found in Portuguese and Mexican festival lighting. The Eye on the Square is also a continuation, however of Neighbour's In The Dark exhibition- a distillation of the theme of divination into the symbolically abstracted eye. The eye has an active character, being the vehicle for learning and inquiry and a passive character, as it reflects the human spirit. It is a thumb print and measure of the full spectrum of human emotion, temperament and character. The artist was challenged and intrigued by the idea of the strangeness of a building with an eye and sought to give the building a spirit- an animate character. The Eye on the Square enlivens its surrounding environment. It turns a brick wall into a wall that sees and is seen.

"The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. it is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Medium: aluminium, light bulbs, paint, steel
Dimensions
244 x 488 cm
Donor/funder gift credit
Commissioned for Queen's Square, 1994. Installation made possible in part by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council. The electrical lighting was made possible by a generous donation from the Alderbrook Group.
  • Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square, 1994.
    Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square, 1994.
  • Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square (detail), 1994.
    Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square (detail), 1994.
  • Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square, 1994.
    Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square, 1994.
  • Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square, 1994.
  • Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square (detail), 1994.
  • Lisa Neighbour. Eye on the Square, 1994.