Forbidden Forest

Throughout time, humankind has caught glimpses of fantastic creatures. Whether these legendary forms were seen emerging from the depths of the sea, rustling through tree tops, taunting villages or peacefully drifting amongst the stars, they have stirred our creativity and played a powerful role in our collective imaginations.

Of the ancient world’s legendary creatures, we may know Greek mythology’s divine winged stallion Pegasus, or perhaps the dull-witted trolls of Norse folklore. However, this exhibition explores the less familiar ancient creatures of Hindu mythology. Expect to encounter the dueling monkey brothers Vali and Sugriva, the infinitely long cosmic serpent Ananta, or valiant Garuda, king of birds and sworn enemy of snakes. And Mahishasura, a near-immortal demon buffalo who goes to war with the gods and eventually loses to a tiger-mounted goddess in an epic showdown that is still recited today.

Over thousands of years oral storytelling was the primary tool for sharing the cultural identity and values embodied in these myths.To share these stories with you, the design duo Humble Raja has brought these fantastic beasts to life by illustrating them as a set of playing cards organized into suits by the exotic environments from which they originate (the sky, the sea, the jungle and grasslands). The mythical creatures each take their form as the face cards allowing the theme of their environment, colour and common patterns to stitch each suit together.

The exhibition is a nod to the mystery and allure of these lesser-known creatures. Pairing contemporary design with old folklore, ‘Forbidden Forest’ celebrates the art of storytelling through a series of illustrations, making it accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Exhibition – Toronto Offsite Design Festival: “Models & Drawings” and “Performance Design”

Models & Drawings | Third Floor North Hallway Gallery

Performance Design | Third Floor South Hallway Gallery

January 16 – January 22, 2017 

Hours: Building Hours are everyday 8am-9pm except Statutory Holidays

Models and Drawings

Models and drawings of built and speculative work by Polymétis, an architecture and landscape design studio based in Toronto, led by Michaela MacLeod and Nicholas Croft. Exhibited work highlights an interest in experimental material applications, phenomenology, and the fusion of manual and digital means of representation.

Projects include Pink Punch (Jardin de Métis 2012, Grand Métis, Québec), Hotbox (Winters Stations 2015, Toronto, Ontario), IceBox (IceBreakers 2017, Toronto, Ontario), Contour Corridor (Public art proposal 2015, Ancaster, Ontario), and Noisy Water (Public art proposal 2015, Bellingham, Washington).


‘Performance Design’ is an installation exhibiting the work of performance designers who are shaping contemporary performance in Toronto. Delving into each designer’s relationship to text, collaboration, site, and material, this exhibit showcases individual process and wider creative conversations between artists and audiences. Inherently collaborative, ‘Performance Design’ engages space, time, and object to communicate story and create imaginative possibility.

The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) is the largest design festival in Canada, with over 100 events and exhibitions taking place across the city of Toronto from January 16-22, 2017. Going into its 7th year, TO DO transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking design and art out of the studio and into the urban sphere, bringing people together to celebrate contemporary culture. We provide opportunities for emerging talent, and engage the community with exceptional and accessible public programming.

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