In August 2015, PLANT was awarded the commission to design a permanent public artwork for Lyon station in the City of Ottawa’s new Confederation Line LRT. Located on the concourse level at Lyon Station, With Words as Their Actions | Par la Force des Mots celebrates women as keepers of history – and in particular, the 32 women who, in 1898, founded the Ottawa chapter of the Women’s Canadian Historical Society (now the Historical Society of Ottawa). In 1954, Anne Dewar, a member of the society, presented “The Last Days of Bytown,” a lively documentation of life in the community a century earlier, when it was on the verge of changing its name from Bytown to Ottawa and becoming Canada’s capital. With Words as Their Actions features Dewar’s 5,000-word text laser-cut into a 75’-long curving stainless steel curtain. Lines of text cut through on one side in English interweave with the French translation cut through on the other side, recalling the intricacy of hand embroidery and other fabric arts traditionally considered ‘women’s work’. Instead of reading this lacy curtain of words all at once, transit riders can absorb a bit of it each time they pass through the station; the turned-out letters that add texture to the artwork also act as bookmarks, making it easy to ‘pick up where you left off’. Silhouettes representing the society’s founders gathered in conversation preside over the curtain, passing their knowledge from one another, and to the viewer.

With Words as Their Actions | Par la Force des Mots is part of the permanent collection of the City of Ottawa Art Collection. Two exhibitions also document the making of the artwork: ”Transformations” at Rideau Station and the City Hall Art Gallery/Karsh-Masson Gallery to the end of January 2020.

The morning rush
The morning rush
The ladies in conversation
The ladies in conversation
The curtain seems solid and transparent as it bends
The curtain seems solid and transparent as it bends
The ladies wrap around the viewer
The ladies wrap around the viewer
The curtain weaves around the columns
The curtain weaves around the columns
The ladies preside over the conversation
The ladies preside over the conversation
View from the escalator
View from the escalator
The curtain ripples through the station
The curtain ripples through the station
Weaving French and English
Weaving French and English
The bookmarks
The bookmarks

project index

  1. A Conversation of Views
  2. Admiral Road Garden
  3. Airdrie Road Garden
  4. Airdrie Road Residence
  5. Albany Avenue Residence
  6. Aporia Records
  7. Asphalt Poetry
  8. – Poem
  9. Baby Point Gardens
  10. Beach Garden
  11. Beach Village BIA Master Plan
  12. Beaty Residence
  13. Bennington Heights Garden
  14. Berkeley Street Residence
  15. Bin-Scarth Garden
  16. Blink and you miss it.
  17. – Poem
  18. Bloor St. Apartment
  19. Blue Note
  20. Booth Avenue Residence
  21. Boustrophedon Garden
  22. Braemore Gardens Residence
  23. Browning Avenue Residence
  24. Brunswick Avenue Residence
  25. Camp Arowhon Offices
  26. Canadian Firefighters Memorial
  27. Centre for Teaching and Learning, UBCO
  28. Channelled Buried Moved Lost
  29. Chocolate Loft
  30. City Instrument
  31. Clarendon Garden
  32. Conversation Piece
  33. Creemore Farm
  34. Danforth Mosaic BIA Master Plan
  35. Dickson Park Garden
  36. Dilworth Residence
  37. Don Landing Revitalization
  38. Dublin Grounds of Remembrance
  39. Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden
  40. Dupont-by-the-Castle BIA
  41. East Point Bird Sanctuary
  42. Eglinton Ave Forecourt
  43. Eglinton Park Master Plan
  44. Elizabeth Fry Society
  45. Ellsworth Residence
  46. Face to Face | Tête à Tête
  47. First Avenue Garden
  48. First Avenue Residence
  49. Foote’s Pond Wood
  50. Forest Hill Village Streetscape
  51. Gaze, Glimpse, Glance
  52. Goldring Landscape, University of Toronto
  53. Gormley Garden
  54. Governor's Bridge Lookout
  55. Greener P
  56. Greer Road Garden
  57. Greer Road Residence
  58. Guelph Bridge
  59. Head in the Clouds
  60. Helena Ave Residence 4
  61. Junction Craft Brewery
  62. Kelpies Competition
  63. Kew Gardens Streetscape
  64. Le jardin du repos
  65. Lenticular Curtain
  66. Liza’s Garden
  67. Lynwood Garden
  68. Macroscape
  69. Markham Garden One
  70. Markham Street Residence Two
  71. Midtown Yonge Streetscape
  72. Nathan Phillips Square
  73. – Streetscape
  74. – Peace Garden
  75. – Podium Roof Garden
  76. Orchard View Garden
  77. Osgoode Atkinson Green Competition
  78. Owl Cottage
  79. Paperstone Scissors
  80. Peripheral Sitings
  81. Pottery Road Crossing
  82. rare
  83. Ravine Forecourt
  84. Ribbon of the Lower Don
  85. Riverside BIA Master Plan
  86. Roxborough Garden One
  87. Roxborough Garden Two
  88. Ryerson Centre for Urban Innovation
  89. Sheridan College
  90. – Trafalgar Campus Master Plan
  91. Spadina Quay Wetland
  92. St. Anne's Road Garden
  93. Stratford Market Square Competition
  94. Stratford Patterson Theatre Competition
  95. Superkids Dental
  96. Superlegible
  97. Sweet Farm
  98. Sweet Farm Pond House
  99. Swift Medical Offices
  100. The Meadows Reconsidered
  101. The Red Sash
  102. Thick & Thin
  103. Tipping Point
  104. Tranby Garden
  105. Tree House Residence
  106. University of Toronto Mississauga Welcome Centre
  107. Venice Biennale 2012
  108. Vermont Square Park
  109. Vernon Avenue Garden
  110. Walk the Walk
  111. Walmer Road Residence
  112. Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial
  113. Wellesley Cottages Garden
  114. Wells Street Residence
  115. Westminster Residence
  116. With Words as Their Actions
  117. Woodlawn Avenue Residence
  118. Woven Stories
  119. York Park