Arrival, Rowan Gillespie 2007
Credit: Ireland Park Foundation
These bronze statues, together named Arrival, are the work of sculptor Rowan Gillespie. They are located in Toronto’s Ireland Park which was opened in 2007. They represent the experience of impoverished Irish immigrants fleeing famine and arriving at their new home. They are meant to complement a similar memorial in Dublin, Ireland, called Departure.
The principal figure of a tall man is depicted with his arms raised in exaltation at the Prospect of Toronto before him. Standing beside and to the rear of this figure is a pregnant woman, whose condition speaks to the prospect of new life and hope in a new land. In contrast, another woman is depicted collapsed on the ground in the last moments of life. Further behind these figures stands a young boy, whose clumsily gathered hands suggest his apprehension about his future and whether to go back or to go forward. Completing the group, but not in this photograph, stands another male figure.