Winter Stations 2022

An artist’s interpretation of artists’ art.

Winter Stations is an annual international design competition held in Toronto during winter. Using the lifeguard stations of Woodbine and Kew beach as anchor points, the goal is to design installations in a creative way.

This year’s theme was aptly chosen as Resilience: the ability to withstand adversity and recover from difficulties.

From February 21 to March 31, the six winning entries—as judged by a jury—were displayed along the beach for the public to interact with.

My Interpretation

This was my first year visiting these winter stations, so I thought I would photograph them giving myself a little challenge in doing so. Rather than simply photographing them in their place, I restricted myself to capturing only two images of each winter station: the first image would capture the station within its surrounding environment, and the second image would be a detailed component that captures the uniqueness of the design of each station. To allow for complete freedom in creativity, I allowed myself to edit the images in any way I wanted to.

The day I had planned to go happened to be overcast, cold, really windy, and raining. Needless to say it wasn’t the best weather to capture these installations. I had originally envisioned creating long exposures of each installation, but that idea didn’t pan out because of the excessive wind, so instead I made-do with what I was presented with.

One Canada

Design Team: University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design & Rural Development | Canada

Artists’ description:

When I first saw this piece, the colour combination is what stood out to me. The orange popped out amongst the overcast skies and bleak beach scenery it was surrounded by. The wrap around the guard station is a key point in this installation so it was this feeling of engulfment that I wanted to highlight in my second image.

The installation itself wraps around the guard station, symbolizing the unity of the people of our nation.


Design Team: MELT – Cemre Önertürk & Ege Çakır | Turkey

Artists’ description:

Two dark boxes standing in the middle of an open beach. With each box having one window to peer into, it’s as if we are looking out at reality from within the box. This representation is what the artists envisioned when creating this installation. Over the last two years our lives had changed as many of us moved to watching a digital screen to communicate with one another. This screen plays the pivotal role in this installation, which is why my second image is looking out at the screen from within one of the boxes.

The narrow slit seen within one of the boxes illustrates us looking from the inside towards reality. Conversely, if we were to look at the screen from the outside, we would be looking toward the person on the other side of the screen.


Design Team: University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design | Canada

Artist’s description:

The red box seemingly floats on the sand when seen from afar.

The artists indicated the “floating” of the installation on the beach when seen from afar. This is exactly what I felt when I first came upon this installation. Perhaps it was the deep red amongst the overcast skies and beige sand surrounding it that made it so. There was a definite pop of colour and sense of surrealism to this when seen within its surroundings. Can you see it in my first image?

The second of my image illustrates the internal reflection that one undergoes when we walk through this box. A room full of mirrors lit by the sun from above allows the participants to be the subject of this installation, which stands strong surrounding them acting as a symbol of stability.

Although the mirrored room is supposed to allow the participants to be the subject of the installation, rather than choosing to photograph my reflection, I chose to photograph the outside as seen from within, illustrating the vulnerability within us (as seen from the open area of the walls that were supposed to symbolize our stability and strength).


Design Team: Kathleen Dogantzis & Will Cuthbert | Canada

Artist’s description:

The HIVE represents the hexagonal shapes of a bee hive who work together as a colony for survival.

The bright orange semi-circle popping up from the beach stands out from afar, making passers-by wonder what this structure is all about. The HIVE is created by hexagonal shapes to mimc that of a honey bee. Bees work together as a colony to survive the harsh winter months. The installation parallels this concept as we as a community worked together to survive our adversities.

The second image is taken from within, looking out from one of the orange panels of the hexagonal shape. If a bee were to look out from within a hive, they would see the outside as their source of nectar. My image below sees us looking outside at the beach and water, seeing the outside as our source of life.

S’winter Station

Design Team: Ryerson University, Department of Architectural Science | Canada

Artist’s description:

The rough nature of this installation as seen from the outside blended seamlessly with the rough weather of the day. The dark gray panels that form the “wing” of the installation allows light and wind to pass through the holes. These panels are created with beach towels with marine ropes used along the edges to create the winged feature.

The uniqueness of the materials used is what inspired me to create the second image, which shows the texture of the panels as seen from the inside looking out.

The red panels as seen from the inside are create with concrete and beach towels.

Wildlife-guard Chair

Design Team: Mickael Minghetti with the guidance of Andres Jimenez Monge | France & Canada

Artist’s description:

This peculiar red design represents the red cardinal—a species that is common here in the city all year round. I liked how the artists went with sharp geometric shapes rather than any curved pieces, contrasting the look of the actual bird.

For my second image I chose to concentrate on the point of intersection of the wood panels that form the wing of the cardinal. These wood panels all diverge from various directions, mimicking the complex nature of the feather.

So there we have it! While my interpretation of these images might be slightly different from how the creators’ of these installations envisioned them as, I hope I did them some justice by photographing them in pleasing ways.

I look forward to seeing what next year’s competition brings to the beach.

Did you get a chance to see the Winter Station installations? If so, let me know what you thought of the overall exhibit!

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