Radiant Dark emerged this year as the third design show in what already seemed like a crowded design weekend in Toronto. Competing for attention with the higher profile Interior Design Show and the artsy Come Up To My Room, Radiant Dark had another, unexpected challenge on its hands when the Queen street fire almost consumed the exhibit on the day it was set to open.
Luckily the beautifully restored Burroughes Building (between the Big Bop and Duke's Cycle) was spared; and after some intense moments (to say the least) the founding team of Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson of Made Design were able to get on with the show. A day after it was scheduled to open, Radiant Dark welcomed more than 500 design enthusiasts to its opening night party on Thursday.
So what is Radiant Dark? In a nutshell, it's a design show dedicated to showcasing the work of talented Canadian designers. In only its first time out, it can likely stake the claim to be Canada's largest and most impressive gathering of Canadian design all year. There are more than 70 new works from Canadian artists, architects, industrial designers and craftspeople. Many of the designs feature natural or sustainable materials, rich textures and patterns.
Pictured above and below are just a small sample of the designs on display in the two room, 3rd floor space. I liked the reflection and simplicity of Joy Charbonneau's This is Vase. It purposely takes the shape of a cartoon silhouette of a bomb. In place of a fuse, a single flower pierces through the side of the vase.
At bottom, Claire Ironside created a map comprised of layers of torn, etched and peeled masking tape of various colours. Up close, you can really spot the textures. I walked away with a new appreciation for something I relegate to a bucket beneath the sink.
Finally, immediately below is Orest Tataryn's Desertscape Series #1. The psychedelic neon tubes don't emanate much light but they make good eye candy and are definitely a conversation piece.
Not pictured are all the furniture, chairs, tables, wall coverings and a host of other design accessories. They'll all remain on display until March 2nd when the show closes.
For a complete list of participating artists check the Radiant Dark web site. Please note: As a result of the fire, the show has been extended to March 2nd. It was originally slated to close February 27th.
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