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These Incredible Public Art Installations are Hitting the Beach Next Month

The sixth annual Winter Stations Design Competition has chosen this year’s public art, which will be on display at Toronto’s east beaches next month.

According to organizers, three designs were selected from over 200 submissions from around the world, and they will be popping up starting February 17.

Every year, artists, architects and designers are asked to create bold designs at the site of the lifeguard stations that are dotted along the beachfront. The theme for Winter Stations’ sixth anniversary is Beyond the Five Senses.

“Designers were asked to explore how our senses interact and overlap to provide us with a picture of our environment and how we interact with it, demonstrating our subjective relationship to reality or displaying a distorted one,” stated Winter Stations in a release.

“We wanted this year’s theme to look beyond the five senses to bring interactive art to the water’s edge,” said Winter Stations co-founder, Roland Rom Colthoff, RAW Design. “Winter Stations has always been about bringing joy, warmth and conversation to the long, cold Canadian winter landscape.”

And the 2020 Winter Stations winners are:

Mirage, by Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo

Mirage, by Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo / Winter Stations

“Mirage has been designed to react to the movements of the sun and the people. Depending on where the visitors are positioned, they will see either a red transparent sun setting or a light and bright rising sun laying on the horizon. As they walk closer, they will discover the thin structure that makes these two simultaneous realities possible,” said Winter Station on the design.

Kaleidoscope of the Senses, by Charlie Sutherland of SUHUHA

winter stations

Kaleidoscope of the senses / Courtesy of Winter Stations

Kaleidoscope of the Senses re-purposes the existing lifeguard chair, and is described as “bringing together a balanced yet dynamic composition of elements which are both a visual and experiential celebration of the senses and a metaphor of the body in space.”

Noodle Feed, by iheartblob

Noodle Feed, by iheartblob / Winter Stations

Noodle Feed is about going “beyond physical senses and creates a shared augmented reality environment where people can interact in new ways and consider that the world is much more than we perceive. The colourful forms and tangible nature of the ‘noodles’ are designed to attract attention, while the rough matte texture of recycled sailcloth contrasts with the soft, springy cushioning of the objects, inviting visitors to move them into chairs, beds and shelters.”

An Augmented Reality App that goes with it allows visitors leave digital traces of their time at the installation, including photos, stories and drawings that can be seen by other users in physical space.

The Beach’s Percussion Ensemble (Centennial College)

The Beach’s Percussion Ensemble (Centennial College) / Winter Stations

“This installation consists of three structures of varying sizes formed of a series of stacked wooden rectangular prisms laid out in a circular shape around a giant steel drum,” said organizers.

“Where the prisms overhang, metal bells of varying shapes and sizes will hang. Some of the structure’s prisms might also be made into steel drums. The elements of the lake’s environment will release the bells’ sound like a wind chime. Visitors can use sticks chained to the structure to play along with the sounds produced by the lake’s elements.”

They also said that Graffiti artists will also be invited to tag the structure.

And the bonus installation: Loop

For the last three years, Waterfront BIA partnered on Winter Stations to bring interactive public art during the shoulder seasons.

This year, Loop, will be installed at York Street Park from January 15 until February 9.

Loop is described as a cross between a music box, a zoetrope (a 19th-century optical toy) and a railway handcar.

According to Winter Stations, “the retro-futuristic machine, more than two metres in diameter, creates animated fairy-tale loops. It activates when a group of people work a hand lever, revealing a lit-up image cylinder that creates the illusion of motion in the drawings.”

Get ready to spend some time outside admiring public art.

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