Freeze-Thaw by the Lake (2)

21 February 2016 – And now I snap my fingers — snap!! — we awaken from our state of suspended animation, and we continue to explore Toronto’s Winter Stations 2016. (See previous post, as a reminder.)

Phyllis & I leave Cardinal’s wonderful Fire Pit, & start walking eastward again, headed for another trio of lifeguard-installations farther down the beach.

First we veer to water’s edge, spend a moment with Nature’s own winter installation of snow/rock/ice/waves …

view eastward down the beach, Lake Ontario

and then take ourselves back up to the boardwalk, where the walking is easier.

We pass a succession of park benches, much-used in summer, somewhat used in winter, but on this snowy-blowy day, not used at all.

Except by this very small truck, neatly tucked away to shelter from the storm.

on the Beaches boardwalk

Tromp-tromp, and finally another trio of installations come into view. We cut back down onto the beach, and as we approach the first one, I look at all its dangling ribbons and cry, “It’s like a Maypole!”

I have sudden giddy images of dancers at some summer festival on an English village common, meticulously weaving the Maypole (or whatever it is they do …). Then I shake my head. In blustery winter Canada?

Maybe not.

Hah. Shows what I know — The installation is  called “Aurora,” but essentially it expresses the same twirly concept.

sign for "Aurora"

Alas, it is not doing all those wonderful things at the moment. Phyllis gives it an experimental twirl  …

"Aurora," Winter Stations 2016

and we’re prepared to love it just as it is.

From fluorescent pink to white-on-white, practically disappearing against the camouflage sky.

""Lithoform," Winter Stations 2016

Once I’m close enough to touch the installation walls, I’m intrigued by their sinuous white skin.

"Lithoform" sign

But, even more than the pliant skin, I’m intrigued by those colour cubes on top. Perhaps especially because of their sharp contrast against the bleached sky.

close-up, "Lithoform"

We decide we’re glad that we are visiting the installations on such a blustery day. The theme, after all, is about sanctuary in winter weather, and this bout of weather gives you the full experience. Not just as a clever-boots art concept, but in physical reality.

Final installation. Such a contrast with the smooth white skin draped around “Lithoform”! This time, it’s all ropes & rough textures.

"Floating Ropes," Winter Stations 2016

Heavy, solid, workmanlike — yet look how it floats mid-air.

And so well-named: “Floating Ropes.”

"Floating Ropes" sign

Just simple ropes, hanging down. But look at the complexity they create! I admire the door arch and roof edge as I enter …

entrance to "Floating Ropes"

and I strike a pose as I push through the wall on the other side, blinking in the light, my nostrils still full of the pungent rope-aroma inside.

Iceland Penny strikes a pose...

Iceland Penny, learning the ropes!


Leave a comment


  1. Seen the stations when they first put them up. I feel like last years versions were a bit more “iconic” if that’s a proper word to use.

    • Ah! Somehow I missed the whole thing last year, this was my first experience. Sorry this year was anticlimactic for you, hope you had some fun with the experience even so. (And yes, ‘iconic’ is a very good word to use.)

  2. It does have a pungent smell doesn’t it — rope. I should try to get down and see these.

  3. What wonderful pieces…I’m especially liking the floating ropes…it’s as though it might just start gliding off down the beach!!

  1. Art you can get into. | Seriously Clowning Around

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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

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