Short Blog 8: A ‘Shift’ to Nature

Shift: a simple architectural sculpture located on Dufferin St. (with my brother standing atop it- left)

It is not often that we get to escape our everyday schedules and truly step out somewhere that makes us forget some of the grim, unpleasant things going on in our lives. Within a field of maize in my community, there is a simplistic architectural concrete sculpture that has been a hidden gem since it was created about 50 years ago which has quickly become one of my favourite kept secrets. An artist named Richard Serra constructed the piece in 1970 as an attempt to emphasize the scattered path you make walking across the field, even when meaning to walk completely straight; mirroring that effect in the design of the wall, named ‘Shift’. As land in my community continues to be sold and developed for housing, the wall has remained untouched as ownership of the field belongs to an art collector who appreciated its importance and promised Serra that it would not be sold while still being available to the public. The simple yet significant design reminds me that life is not a straight line, but is instead filled with cracks, hardships and unexpected bumps that make the journey so much more beautiful.