The seventh annual Winter Stations has revealed its winning designs for this year’s art show; however, due to Ontario’s lockdown, they are yet to be exhibited.
Unfortunately, with provincial restrictions, there is no exhibit timetable until lockdowns are lifted, according to organizers.
Out of a record-breaking amount of over 400 submissions from across the world, only four designs were selected. This year’s theme, Refuge, asked designers to reflect on the pandemic and what the term means to each of them, whether that is shelter, comfort, security, or sanctuary.
And the 2021 Winter Stations winners are:
ARc de Blob by Aleksandra Belitskaja, Ben James and Shaun McCallum, Austria/UK
“This architectural object creatively mixes physical materials with the ability to digitally interact and connect through a Mixed Reality App. The installation creates incredible virtual worlds – a figurative refuge where we can interact, connect and play. The physical form references iconic architectural composition and elements; and is contrasted with the colourful materials and patterns that create a warm and welcoming shelter. The arch itself acts as a frame for a virtual portal/refuge seen in Mixed Reality – a space of new digital worlds: creative environments designed to encourage visitors to play and interact together in digital and physical space,” said Winter Station on the design.
From Small Beginnings by Jack Leather and Charlie Leather, UK
“Through shelves bearing a future forest, the installation allows visitors to seek refuge from harsher elements, whilst both encountering strangers from a safe distance or simply enjoying a place for quiet reflection. Approaching the exterior, the stained and sombre timber provides [a] stark contrast to the lively Spruce seedlings, which are free to the elements. Only upon entering the seating and standing areas of the installation, the brighter interior is revealed, symbolic of the opportunities that arise from challenging periods, such as the year gone by. Like the seedlings, which can be replanted locally upon closure of the exhibit, we are all simply at the beginnings of our journeys.”
The Epitonium by M. Yengiabad – Shahed M. Yengiabad, Elaheh M. Yengiabad, Alemeh M. Yengiabad and Mojtaba Anoosha, Iran
“The Epitonium creates a beautiful and functional landscape. The creation of this idea causes natural shelter to become a refuge. The design of this structure is inspired by epitonium, which is a type of seashell, and the structure is in great harmony with its location,” said organizers.
THROBBER by Heidundgriess – Alexandra Grieß and Jorel Heid, Germany
“This icon is adopted from the digital to the real world as a symbol for the state of active experience of time, a place of transition, where different perspectives, longings, hopes and motivations come together. The colourful installation is an invitation to perceive the similarities and connections with each other despite individual differences.”
Embrace by Colin Laplante, Grace Im, Ziyu Li, Brayden Popke, Nicole Ruiz, Reem Yunis, Bachelor of Craft and Design Program (Sheridan College)
“This year, we all need a hug. Embrace represents that universal desire, providing a refuge from the real and imagined winds that buffet our beings. The flowing form, suggestive of a beneficent and humorous character, reaches out to embrace the lifeguard tower and the public alike, protecting all from the environment and standing calmly on the beach in all weathers. The neutral white exterior of the form blends in with the winter beach landscape and provides a contrast with the red/orange interior, evoking feelings of protection, comfort and peace while we nestled in its embrace.”
In years prior, the installations were temporarily constructed around Woodbine Beach. This year, three winning installations will be displayed at The Distillery District before going to the beach. While a grand debut for the pieces is still up in the air, organizers are hopeful it can take place in the Spring or later.
“We are excited to partner with an event that shines a light on local and international artists and brings attention to the city’s beautiful winter beaches. And we’re equally excited to bring three installations here to The Distillery District and help expose these exciting art pieces to new audiences,” said Elena Price, General Manager, The Distillery Historic District.
There will also be a station exhibited at Kew Gardens with hopes of drawing more Winter Station visitors to the area and support the local businesses there.
“The BIA is excited to help bring Winter Stations up to Queen Street for the first time, shining a brighter spotlight on our amazing neighbourhood, including the business community,” said Anna Sebert, Executive Director, Beach Village BIA.
“The installation in Kew provides a great opportunity for visitors to explore our main street, in addition to the Beach. We look forward to welcoming everyone to safely enjoy Winter Stations in the Beach in 2021.”