Hands across the wa­ter

In­ter­ac­tive art in­stal­la­tions make a wa­ter­front walk a must this sea­son

North Toronto Post - - News - By Bron­wen Keyes-Be­van

This winter, in a bid to en­cour­age Toron­to­ni­ans and tourists alike to visit the wa­ter­front dur­ing the colder months, the Wa­ter­front Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Area (WBIA) has teamed up with the pop­u­lar Beaches art com­pe­ti­tion, Winter Sta­tions, to show­case in­ter­ac­tive art in­stal­la­tions at five lo­ca­tions through­out the neigh­bour­hood.

“We re­ally want to change peo­ple’s minds about em­brac­ing their wa­ter­front and en­joy­ing the beauty of it all year round,” said Carol Jolly, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the WBIA. The five de­sign-cen­tric in­stal­la­tions will be un­veiled along the wa­ter­front on Jan. 21 and will be on dis­play un­til Feb. 26.

The in­stal­la­tions vary greatly in their ap­pear­ance, but all are set to make a mark on the neigh­bour­hood’s land­scape. Visi­tors can en­joy Dan­ish de­sign stu­dio Pla­tant’s shim­mer­ing light boxes in the Toronto Mu­sic Gar­den or RAW De­sign’s sail­boat-in­spired in­stal­la­tion at Har­bourfront Cen­tre’s Canada Square. There will also be a pair of 10-foot-high glow­ing wooden hands, which will bathe the Peter Street Basin in a warm sun­light glow, and im- mense struc­tures from Jas­pal Riyait and Toronto de­sign duo Polymétis.

The ex­hi­bi­tion’s name, Ice Break­ers, plays with the idea of art break­ing down bar­ri­ers be­tween strangers, but it is also a nod to the util­i­tar­ian ships that used to dis­man­tle the frozen wa­ter around Toronto’s har­bours.

Ice Break­ers’ part­ner, Winter Sta­tions, is an in­ter­na­tional de­sign com­pe­ti­tion that also brings pub­lic art to the city. The con­test will re­turn for its third year and will be held along Toronto’s east end beaches. The Winter Sta­tions ex­hi­bi­tion will run for five weeks, the first of which over­laps with the last week of Ice Break­ers — mean­ing Toron­to­ni­ans have nine full weeks to en­joy these stun­ning win­ter­time works of art.

A Winter Sta­tions ex­hibit will also re­turn to the Beaches neigh­bour­hood this year. This de­sign com­pe­ti­tion fo­cuses on warm­ing huts, and win­ners will line the beaches from Ash­bridges Bay to Balmy from Feb. 20 to March 27.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to www.win­ter­sta­tions.com

Clock­wise from left: Tai­lored Twins by Fer­ris & As­so­ci­ates; Winter Di­a­monds by Pla­tant; Incog­nito by Cu­rio Art Con­sul­tancy and Jas­pal Riyait

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