Fredericton physician and artist creates toy shutters

Click to play video 'N.B. doctor creates colourful display to lift spirits' N.B. doctor creates colourful display to lift spirits
A Fredericton doctor has created a colourful display in hopes of lifting people's spirits during this pandemic. Megan Yamoah reports. – May 1, 2020

For one New Brunswick artist, three months of creativity spawned an art piece, with thousands of used plastic toys melted into panels on his house.

“From the street view it looks like an abstract piece of work, and as people get closer they start saying, ‘What is this? What is this? And I love it when they go, ‘Oh, it’s a bunch of toys,'” said Brian MacKinnon, the artist and an emergency room doctor.

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People driving by have been stopping to get a photo taken in front of the custom shutters.

“We got so red because we were so impressed, and shocked,” said Taya Nash.

“One of the objectives of this was to really get as big a visual burst of joy as I could.”

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To make the shutters, Brian quickly heated hundreds of plastic toys into one panel, which has over 1,000 toys in it of various sizes.

“It’s cool since we’re on quarantine and stuff that people can come by and just look at it and be amazed,” said Peyton Kehoe

Taya Nash & Peyton Kehoe stopped for a photo with the toy shutters. Megan Yamoah / Global News

Luckily, Brian’s neighbours don’t think of it as an eyesore and enjoyed the memories it invoked.

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“I think he should leave it up as long as he would like, I think it’s awesome,” said Andrew Russell, Brian’s neighbour.

“A lot of people are walking by, stopping, taking photos. They are like, ‘Can we walk on the grass? Should we not?”

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N.B. COVID-19 creations cooking challenge – Apr 30, 2020

Brian says a portion of the artwork is to see how people respond.

“In this very conservative, polite town, kids run on the lawn. The adults won’t, so if I’m here I come out and say please come on the lawn and have a look.”

The decision to put up the shutters was inspired by the quarantine, and the tragedy in Portapique, N.S. that took so many innocent lives.

Brian MacKinnon shows off his toy shutters. Megan Yamoah / Global News

“Every time I drive by I take a look at the shutters. I drive really slowly because every time I find a new toy, it makes me really happy,” said Russell.

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It’s safe to say Brian has accomplished his mission of spreading joy with his art, and now his neighbours want him to create shutters for them, but these are one of a kind.

“I don’t know what it looks like when I start, I don’t know what the end product is going to be but I was really happy with the way they turned out,” said MacKinnon.

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