• Artist: Bonnie Devine
  • Medium: Installation
  • Project Type: Disturbed Landscape
  • Curator: Kari Cwynar
  • Neighbourhood: Downtown

We gather wild reeds from the marshlands and braid them into a circle in the centre of the city, to make a place to talk.


Commerce Court West (Exterior Plaza) - TBC

  • Address: 199 Bay Street
  • Public Washrooms: No
  • Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible

The Project

This work replicates the gathering place of Toronto’s early history. Located in the city’s financial district, Circle of Enquiry for a Dish with One Spoon recognizes the area as the centre of commerce and trade that it has always been. But, made of wild reeds, it also reminds us of the natural world just outside downtown Toronto’s glass and concrete margins. We braid the Circle of Enquiry out of three lengths of reeds, making one long, flexible structure whose simple traditional form embodies both strength and flexibility. Then we shape the braid into a large circle to create a focus for interaction and awareness. In a series of performances and presentations, Indigenous artists, poets, and historians animate the Circle of Enquiry at various times during Nuit Blanche to celebrate and consider the past and future of our city and engage with questions from the audience. What is the Dish with One Spoon, for instance? And how do we revive its vision of common ground or a ground- in-common? What are our responsibilities to the wetlands, the waterways, the plants, the animals and each other, as we pursue our individual dreams for growth and prosperity? Featuring talks and performances by Duke Redbird, Ange Loft, Raven Davis, and Maria Hupfield to animate the Circle.

The Artist

  • Bonnie Devine, Toronto, Canada

Bonnie Devine is a visual artist, writer, and educator and an off-reserve member of the Anishinaabek of Genaabaajing (Serpent River) First Nation on the north shore of Lake Huron. Devine’s cross-disciplinary practice combines written, sculptural, painted and performative gestures to explore land, history and narrative. Formally educated in fine art at the Ontario College of Art and Design and York University, her most enduring learning came from her grandparents, who were trappers on the Canadian Shield in Northern Ontario.


  • Sponsored by