Roda Medhat, Artist – Toronto

Roda Medhat is a Kurdish-Canadian artist who studied Integrated Media at OCAD University and film production at FAMU Film and Television School in Prague. In 2023 he was selected to be the 401 Richmond Career Launcher Prize recipient for 2024. As an artist who values accessibility, Roda designs public art sculptures that transcend the confines of formal art institutions. His creative vision often centers on the experience of being a child of the 1.5 generation and explores the complexities of living between cultures.

He is a participating artist in Halifax’s all-night art event Nocturne and will give an artist’s talk on October 13 at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Roda Medhat was also recently announced as the winner of the City of Toronto’s Overlea Boulevard public art competition.

  1. Bad malls

I hate most conventional malls, but a small local mall is amazing. You’ll find bizarre businesses that don’t exist anywhere else. You can also find malls, like this one I saw in Scarborough, completely filled from one end to another with dinosaurs.

  1. Inflatables

I love inflatables as a medium for public art. Their transportability makes them great for exhibition – just inflate and deflate whenever you like. And the scale at which you can work with inflatables surpasses what you can do with most mediums. (The image shows my piece Killim during teardown.)

  1. Eavesdropping

The image attached was the best AI could do to make it look like I was listening to someone else. If you’re having an interesting conversation out loud and I’m sitting nearby, I can’t help but listen. It’s just so interesting sometimes! You start to imagine entire stories around the people talking – who they are and what their life is like. I love a good eavesdrop.

  1. Cats

I love my cats! They’re just so great. I love animals in general, because how could you not.

5. Human-centric cities

I’ve become obsessed with content about better-designed urban spaces. The disaster that is the suburbs and car-centric cities can be changed. We don’t need to rely on cars being our sole mode of transport. We shouldn’t have to drive to get everywhere or build twelve-lane highways that only make congestion worse. My personal favourite is Not Just Bikes on YouTube.