In photos: the 2019 Winter Stations art installations

The fifth annual pop-up exhibition on Woodbine Beach opened on Family Day and runs to April 1

The annual Winter Stations design competition has been giving Torontonians a reason to go to the beach in the dead of winter for five years. Six lifeguard stands in the western end of Woodbine Beach in the Beaches have been transformed into brightly coloured, temporary art installations based around the theme of migration.

The mayor, city councillors and artists were on hand for the opening on Family Day. Three installations were created by teams from Toronto and the GTA and the other three were designed by teams from Mexico, Poland and the United States. Designers, artists and architects were asked to “explore all facets of migration, including the complex social issues that surround humanity’s shaping of our global society, the flight of animals and the exchange of ideas.”

Winter Stations runs to April 1. Check out photos below.





Donald Trump’s proposed border wall is all over the news these days so naturally the American design team has come up with an installation that bluntly references the wall as a symbol of nationalism. Boston-based Joshua Carel and Adelle York’s Above the Wall installation “contests the wall as a productive assertion of sovereignty” by inviting people to walk above and between a dingy barrier.



Toronto designers John Nguyen, Victor Perez-Amado, Anton Skorishchenko, Abubaker Bajaman and Stephen Seungwon Baik’s optimistic Cavalcade installation allows viewers to wander between colourful silhouettes of people in motion. The designers have interpreted the theme of migration in a political sense but also in an abstract way. “The human quest for a better life is one that is timeless and universal,” their artist statement reads.



Former city councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (right) addresses the crowd alongside Mayor John Tory and city councillor Brad Bradford. McMahon was the jury chair for this year’s competition.



Mexican artist Luis Enrique Hernandez (centre left) discusses The Forest Of Butterflies, his Winter Station installation representing the the forests of Michocan in central Mexico – the destination for migratory Monarch Butterflies.





Intuit is an installation by a team of designers from Sheridan College in Oakville. The work turns the lifeguard tower into a migratory species by stretching, shrinking and distorting the tower’s original dimensions and arranging on them on the beach in a pattern that suggests movement.





Ground² by a design team from Humber College comprises a series of platform-like structures that mediate between the “linear, safe boardwalk and the fluctuating, undefined, boundaries of water” in a nod to glacial melting and, more abstractly, environmental refugees.



Mind Station by Polish designers Tomasz Piotrowski and Lukasz Chaberka is one of the most interactive installations in this year’s exhibition. The wooden pavilion allows visitors to go inside and poke their heads out holes in the top in order to “break cognitive barriers” that separate us from one another.






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