For about three weeks in January, we had our normal winter temperatures but no snow. Then on Monday, the snow flurries returned starting in the afternoon, and ended overnight. The next morning, the weather conditions were perfect for my walk to visit the temporary winter art exhibit Ice Breakers 2018.
Ice Breakers is a fairly new outdoor public art event at the Toronto's waterfront. It started last year and was a huge success. This year, the Waterfront Business Improvement Area (BIA) hosted an international competition with the theme "Constellation". It attracted over 100 international submissions. Five designs were chosen, installed, and on display along the waterfront, from January 19 to February 25.
Here's a closer look at the creations that visitors can enter, climb, run around, look through, and use to make music:
1. Root Cabin by Liz Wreford and Peter Sampson (Winnipeg, Canada): The artists sourced 36 cedar roots from a plot of land near Georgian Bay that was being cleared to create Root Cabin. Like a constellation, Root Cabin is a mystery waiting to be discovered. Visitors enter the cabin to see pink coloured cuts of wood through gaps of weathered roots. The log cabin and tree roots reminded me of nature and mountains, as well as safe sheltering from winter elements.
2. Black Bamboo by Bennett Marburger and Ji Zhang (Hanzhou Shi, China): Black Bamboo is made from 90 black painted bamboo poles, freely arranged to form a framework in an abstract cubic shape. The artists wanted viewers to use and interpret it as they please. Visitors can observe from a distance, look at it as a sculpture about constellations, walk inside and feel the space, or climb on top of it. I liked how the bamboo poles looked random yet they formed a sturdy structure.
3. Winter Fanfare by Thena Tak (Vancouver, Canada): Winter Fanfare is a series of orange rotating fan-sculptures or pinwheels. It's meant to emphasize the importance of every star in a constellation, whether it's in the centre or at the edge. The artist wanted people to be able to meander through the installation, or sit on it, or run in and around it. I liked the sense of equality of this installation, and the colour orange which is about creativity and social connections.
4. Through the Eyes of the Bear by Tanya Goertzen (Calgary, Canada): Inspired by the Great Bear constellation, the artist wanted to create something inviting and playful. She used molded fibreglass covered in a red, soft, fleecy material to create this installation. Visitors can enter from the back of the bear's head to see the world "through the eyes of a bear", or to consider how humans interact with nature, or to imagine what it's like to be a bear. The bear looks so much better with some snow on it. I love that red and white are the colours of Canada's flag, plus polar bears are one of Canada's many attractions.
|Through the Eyes of the Bear|
5. Ensemble by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joana Correia Silva (Porto, Portugal): The artists were influenced by the constellation Lyra, said to depict a bird carrying a lyre. Ensemble is a labyrinth of 350 pipes that was installed right by Toronto Music Garden. The artists hoped to bring more life to the Music Garden and show that, even in the winter, public art can be fun and engaging. I liked the sounds made when people played with this installation, or when there was a light breeze.
I'm loving where I live for the sunshine, the waterfront trail, the ever changing lake view, powder fresh snow, beautiful and free public art.
How about you? What are you loving today?