Collective-Conscious mini-posters along Bloor West and Queen West. www.collective-conscious.com. Rating: NNNN
September 11. among the posters for Spanish lessons and yoga that cover the vertical surfaces in our city are others relating to the World Trade Center bombings and their aftermath.
There are multicoloured peace posters and the politicized September 11 Now and Then group announcements. But the simple icons of the group Collective-Conscious stand apart.
Collective-Conscious is a group of anonymous artists and writers who have created a series of visuals and words to communicate the ideas of nurturing, rebuilding community and optimism.
The designs are very clean and graphic in black-on-white backgrounds. A woman carries a young child. A tree extends below the surface of the earth to its root, a seed containing a protected human baby.
The images use negative space in impressive ways. A black bear cuddles a white baby bear that is defined by the shape of the black space. The gaps between the fingers of a hand are shaped like missiles, and the lifeline resembles the curve of the earth.
The words are meaningful. Free Space is set typographically so that an exaggerated gap occurs between the two words. NLIGHTN reads like a vanity licence plate for a Buddhist.
The 81/2-by-11 mini-posters hang from construction barriers, mailboxes, parking meters and telephone booths. Most of them are up along the Queen West strip, but you can see them along Bloor between St. George and Spadina as well.
They're worth looking out for. The message is important and the method makes it art that is for everyone.