Photos of the 2018 Winter Stations art installations

Public art reflects a year of political upheaval with work that comments on increasing urbanization, renewable energy and women's rights

For four years now, Winter Stations has been giving Torontonians a reason to hit the east end’s beaches right in the middle of winter.

Seven large-scale, temporary public art installations made their debut across the shores of Ashbridges Bay, Balmy Beach and Kew Beach on Family Day (February 20). The theme for this year’s international design competition, which showcases the work of Canadian design schools as well as artists, architects and designers from around the world, is RIOT.

Although the main motive of the free exhibition is to provide an upbeat, family-friendly experience, the winning designs attempted to comment on “the past year’s political upheaval and continued global uncertainty.”

Here’s what each of the installations look like and the messages they carry:

Winter Stations 2018_Wind Station

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Wind Station by Paul van den Berg and Joyce de Grauw (Netherlands) takes the shape of a nuclear cooling tower outfitted with hundreds of tiny pin-wheels to question why countries rely on unsustainable technology when cleaner energy alternatives are available.

Winter Stations 2018_Obstacle

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Obstacle by Kien Pham (UK) provides a metaphor for collective action in overcoming global issues by inviting visitors to arrange its rotating columns in sequence. 

Winter Stations 2018_Make Some Noise!!!

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Make Some Noise!!! by Alexandra Grieß and Jorel Heid (Germany) is an over-sized noisebox. Two cranks set off the oversized horns, encouraging visitors to “ring the alarm.” 

Winter Stations 2018_Rising Up

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Rising Up by the University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (Toronto) is inspired by the topography of Toronto’s Don Valley and symbolizes nature’s uprising against increasing urbanisation. 

Winter Stations 2018_NEST

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

NEST by Ryerson University (Toronto) is a colorful web that explores ideas of comfort within a system of disorder.

Winter Stations 2018_Revolution

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Revolution by OCAD (Toronto) is composed of 36 bullhorn-like structures enabling visitors to project their opinions.

Winter Stations runs until April 1. | @missrattan

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