In part 2 of my get outside Torontonians series (see part 1 here) I checked out the annual art installation event Toronto Winter Stations 2017. Just like previous years it’s located on Woodbine Beach and Kew Beach in the Toronto Beaches area. The event runs from February 20th to March 27th but I do recommend that you check it out sooner rather than later. Last year we didn’t get to see all the stations as they had been vandalized which is quite a shame.
While it may be freezing outside these days, checking out this event is a nice (and free!) way to spend a weekend morning or afternoon. Plus you’ll get some exercise in while walking along the beach! The concept of this event is to build an art piece around the lifeguard stations placed along the beach. I’ve split the post by which beach the installations are on but it’s completely walk-able from one end to the other.
This piece is called Collective Memory and is built out of recycled plastic bottles. It’s meant to symbolize the story that combines us all and to combine anecdotes. This piece is interactive and once you’re inside you’ll find pencils and papers for you to leave a message on and stick in a proverbial bottle (but also an actual bottle!). This piece was created by Mario Garcia and Andrea Govi.
This piece was created by the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto. This piece is also interactive in the sense that you’re supposed to climb up on the lifeguard stand and enjoy both the forest of fire within the installation and the contrasting winter beach outside of it. The forest inside the installation is actually real plants that were transported to the beach for the installation.
This piece was created by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva. The piece is supposed to bring to mind the traditional light houses. While not as interactive as the other pieces the holes at various points on this piece are meant to be used as a drop-off point for non-perishable food or clothes.
This piece was created by Dionisios Vriniotis, Rob Shostak, Dakota Wares-Tani, and Julie Foran. I have to admit this is probably the one I did not understand what so ever. After reading up on it I’ve figured out it’s supposed to represent the buoys that are used as warning signs in water.. But that’s about it. So yeah, no idea. It’s shiny at least!
This piece is by studio PERCH and is one of my two favorite pieces. The piece is quite simple with lots of fir trees hanging upside down. Not only does it make for really pretty contrasted pictures but it’s also a great experience. Walking through the firs actually feels like walking through a forest because of the colors and smells.
This piece is by Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology. This one’s actually quite fun to play with. From afar, you can’t really see the installation. While walking on the beaches I thought a piece was missing because I was only counting 3 installations on this side of the beach but once we got closer it became much clearer! While walking in and around this piece everything reflects and provides a fantastically confusing perspective on the surrounding area.
Flotsam and Jetsam
This piece was created by the University of Waterloo and is the other of my favorite installations. When walking towards this installation it looks like a dog sitting down. It’s actually a whale diving into the ocean! How cool is that? You can walk into the structure itself from the back and more closely examine the structure. Each metal wired cube is filled with different kinds of plastics that are meant to be recyclable but can be found in the oceans. Given the claims that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean I think this is a fantastic piece with social commentary.
I See You Ashiyu
This piece was created by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela. It’s one of the cooler pieces but it wasn’t functioning when we saw it. It’s mean to be a Japanese style hot spring where you can dip your feet in steaming water while experiencing the cold weather outside.
If you want any more information on the event itself check out the official Winter Stations website.