There is light at the end of the tunnel


This Winter, Unsinkable is honoured to be be partnering with Twentytwenty Arts (Founded by Unsinkable ambassador Megan Kee) for Life on the Line. Life on the Line is a public art project and mental health awareness campaign using art to raise funds for mental health support. Ten Ontario-based artists will be sharing their artwork and stories on Unsinkable every week until January 2021.

This week we have the honour of sharing Duncan’s story.

All ten works will be available for sale in signed and numbered limited editions of 50, where 75% of all sales will be donated directly to the Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto’s Family Outreach & Response Program. Canadian Mental Health Association is the largest service-based mental health organization in Canada.

When I first came to Toronto many years ago I found the subway to be a somewhat intimidating place. I especially remember being aware of other people’s eyes… Were they looking at me? Were they judging me? I remember coming up from underground to the street and wondering where exactly I was, or even what direction I was facing…I’ve been riding the public transit now for nearly forty years, but I know that there are those who feel today as I did then…

Subway Platform

In this image I am trying to give expression to the experience of feeling alone and isolated in the big city.

When you’re confused and afraid, even the smallest obstacle can be overwhelming. Mind The Gap. Stand Back. Do Not Block The Doorway. Every instruction seems to have a double meaning. The beautiful capital letters incised into the tiles of the station wall become threatening, unknowable. They might as well be written in the language of another planet. Now everyone’s telling us to wear a mask, cover our mouth, cover our nose. Don’t touch anything.

There is peril in every lurch of the train as we try not to grab and hold on. I peer across a dark chasm to the stranger on the other side. Our eyes meet for a fraction of a second and then we both look away.

I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, I just can’t see it from here…


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