By : LeuWebb Projects
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 15e édition
Discipline : Art & Photography
Categories : Art Projects / Urban Art : Platinum Winner, Gold Certification
A moment of wonder, a glimpse of beauty, an uplifting sensation communicated through form and material. Lighten Up represents the moment of release of a cluster of balloons. It’s simultaneously a moment of joy and dismay, balloons freed from their constraints and rising into the air – and then coming to rest under a ceiling. Still in sight, but out of reach.
This witty and whimsical public artwork speaks to people of many different ages and backgrounds. Children will enjoy the tantalizing illusion of giant, shiny balloons dangling high above their heads. Young adults will see opportunities to document their presence through media, older adults will admire the visual wit and playful ideas embodied in the forms.
Located at the bustling intersection of Yonge and Lawrence in Toronto, a series of seven mirror-polished recycled cast aluminum balloons hang suspended from the underside of the existing building canopy of 3080 Yonge Street. In studying the expansive canopy, we were interested in exploring how the volume of the space and the play of light within could be translated to people in different ways, from those walking beneath the overhang, to those emerging from the subway, to those passing by in cars or on foot. The canopy is a temporary place of refuge for people, a place away from the elements of wind, water, and sun. It’s a generous amenity for use by passersby. The balloons, however, have not sought refuge but are trapped in a space of suspended animation. They’re not there by choice, but by circumstance.
The artwork interacts and engages the public at a variety of scales. Above the cluster of balloons is concentrated at the southeast corner of the building, then decreases as one progresses westwards. At grade, the planter is home to a fallen balloon, one that has been partially deflated, unable to rise to meet its friends. It acts as a foil, complementing the main body of the piece and encouraging the eye to look upwards at the balloons overhead. The composition of the elements is conceived to have the highest visual impact at this prominent corner, while working within the bays of the existing building and keeping clear of any signage.
From a myriad of reflections in daylight, to a dazzling vision of light at sunset, to a colourful, gentle glow in the evening, to more subtly lit late at night, the artwork’s materiality reflects the ever- changing conditions during the course of the day and is programmed with intelligent lighting for responsive illumination at night.
Highly visible to shoppers, commuters, passersby, and motorists, Lighten Up aims to increase the visibility of the building and act as a beloved and iconic element within the neighbourhood.
Manufacturer - Distributor : Punchclock Metalworks Inc.
Photographer : Doublespace Photography
Other : Zebra Public Art Management