There’s no avoiding our next installation. As visible from Front Street as from the waterfront, Tailored Twins is sure to make an impression. The piece is composed of two 3 meter high hands, gilded palms facing inwards. Essentially you are looking at the world’s biggest set of jazz hands.
Created by Ferris + Associates Inc. and spearheaded by lead designer Tomek Chwieszczenik, the hands gently buttress the basin and reflect a golden glow onto the water. This is another installation that would do well to be seen in the evening when spotlights from the far side of the lagoon bathe the sculpture in a warm light. Viewed with the CN Tower and Rogers Center also alight, it must be a sight to see and well worth the trip.
Tailored Twins is a great conversation starter. While I was photographing the installation, two young boys walked by and were entranced by these giant hands. We started talking and I asked them what they thought the hands were doing? I thought they were applauding, but the eldest boy had a better idea. He thought the hands were getting ready to cast a fireball. This lead to a short conversation about Harry Potter and magic in the real world.
That’s what art does. It bridges gaps, gives us something to talk about, even stew about. My husband and I originally weren’t impressed by the unfinished nature of the piece. Only the palms are covered in gold sheeting. The sides and back left as natural wood, open to the elements. As I thought more about Tailored Twins however, my feelings about them evolved a bit. I remembered the Chinese teapots from the second episode of Sherlock. Go with me on this.
In that episode, The Blind Banker, it’s explained that the more these teapots are used, the more beautiful they become. It’s the same with our hands. It is one of the most interactive parts of our bodies. We pick things up; we engage with them, we use them to emote. They are our interface. So it makes sense that the palms, the most evocative part of the hand, would be what the artists would choose to embellish. As the museum curator says about the teapots, they shine a little brighter after use. Same with our palms.
And I’m sure that’s the sort of mental evolution that Ferris + Associates is looking for. They specialize in landscape architecture, urban design and site development. They are also co-founders of Winter Stations, a public art competition that will launch on February 20th in The Beaches. They understand the nature and purpose of public art. It’s nice to see them take that expertise and apply it to a piece that is so deceptively simple, yet delightfully complex.
All five Ice Breaker installations are available for viewing from January 21 to February 26, 2017. For more information, please visit The Waterfront BIA website for more information.