The final piece in the Ice Breaker’s exhibit named Incognito and can be found in the Rees Street Park. It was created as a collaboration between Curio Art Consultancy’s principal partner, Justin Ridgeway and his wife Jaspal Riyait. Curio Art Consultancy is based in Toronto and specializes in public art management and communications consulting. They have worked with a variety of artists in the public realm, including Douglas Coupland, James Carpenter, Troika, and United Visual Artists.
Incognito is a combination of architectural massing models and a camouflage technique used by naval warships to make them invisible to enemy’s radar. The purpose of the piece is to explore what happens when you allow architectural structures to disappear into the background.
This piece does not fade into the woodwork. When I visited the installation, several children were having a grand time scaling it. Their parents who were hovering beneath their kids, ready to catch them if they lost their footing? Not so much. I heard more than a few groans as they were hoisting their tykes up and down. Which brings me to my final suggestion: take into account who and how people are going to interact with a piece of art. Think about safety considerations. If you don’t want your sculpture to be climbed on, don’t put it in a playground. If you do, make it accessible with stairs or handholds. I was asked by a parent if I knew it was alright for their kids to climb onto Incognito and I had to tell her I had no idea.
Logistics aside, this is a fun sculpture. Depending on your angle of approach, the black and white stripes work together with the different conformations of each individual module to create a different viewing experience of the whole. And that’s probably true for the entirety Ice Breakers. While going down to the waterfront, exclusively to see the exhibit, might not make for the greatest art experience, it is worth your while as part of a larger excursion.
My suggestion: bundle up, pack some cocoa, enjoy the free skating at the Naturel ice rink, grab dinner, and enjoy Ice Breakers as part of an entire day spent with the family at Harbourfront.
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.