Terraflora is an ephemeral mural throughout the third floor corridors of the Gladstone Hotel. Extracted from regional clays and soils, each pigment was hand-rendered to reveal a range of mineral colours, including hues taken from local sites near the Cheltenham Badlands and the peaks of the Scarborough Bluffs. Terraflora is based on previous projects conducted in Ilhabela, Brazil and Rajasthan, India wherein natural colours were used to illuminate the growth of bacteria, fungi, algae, and lichens upon human-made structures. In this iteration, the artwork evokes those natural processes of growth and deterioration that would befall the hotel if devoid of human intervention. The motifs painted appear like microflora; spores, moulds, and lichens appear to invade the space, emboldened by gestures, lines, and shapes made of the earth itself. The piece beckons one to consider the fragility of human systems in a natural world undergoing unprecedented change. |||| Cole Swanson is an artist and educator based in Toronto. His work has appeared in exhibitions at national and international institutions and is two-time arts fellow through the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute for his research on miniature painting, Jaipur school fresco, and handmade pigments.