If you’ve flown out of the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, you’ve probably walked past a massive black sculpture in the middle of Terminal 1.

Tilted Spheres is an art installation created by sculptor and artist, Richard Serra. The sculpture is made up of four large sheets of weather-proof steel. The installation is 39 feet long and 14 feet high. The piece was completed in 2004 and was a part of Pearson’s $4.4 billion expansion. It is so large and heavy, it had to be completed before the airport terminal’s walls and roof were constructed. It was unveiled to the public in 2007, when Terminal 1 officially opened, and has remained a popular spot for travellers to take photos in front of.

This piece isn’t only excellent as an interesting backdrop for your next Instagram selfie, it’s also interactive. Travellers are able to walk through the installation, which causes sound to bounce off the convex walls, creating a unique acoustic wonderland. Rolling suitcases belonging to passengers rushing to board before departure, will echo as they roll through the sculpture. People waiting by their gate, might want to pass the time creating soundscapes by clapping, singing or making other sounds in the structure.

Photo Credit: Ken Mist 2007, Sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Here is a video of TV Correspondent and Sculptor, Gareth Lichty, interacting with the sculpture in 2007.

The sculpture is located in Pearson’s Terminal 1, Pier F, International Departures, after security. Unless you are flying out of Pearson, it’s not very likely you will see the sculpture in person. But if you happen to be flying out anytime soon, make sure to arrive at your gate early so you can check out the sculpture.

About the Artist

Richard Serra is an American artist and sculptor. He was born in 1938 in San Francisco, and currently lives in New York City. Richard Serra is part of the Process Movement, an artistic movement, which places precedence on the process of creation over the finished art piece. Serra began creating minimalist sculptures in the 1960’s, using non-traditional materials. In the 1970’s Serra focused on constructing massive outdoor and site-specific steel sculptures, for which he became famous for. The structures are supported by their own weight and tend to be torqued in shape, with ellipses and elegant curved lines. The structures seem to defy the laws of gravity. The imposing size of these steel structures challenges the viewers to question their bodies in relation to their environment.

Richard Serra’s installations are located all over the globe, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, and the Qatari desert.


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