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