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Widgery Studio
Liquid Echo | Public Sculptures by Widgery Studio | The Penrose in Toronto
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Liquid Echo - Public Sculptures

Featured In The Penrose, Toronto, Canada

Item details

“Liquid Echo” (1999 Toronto) is part of the wonderful program to integrate art and architecture for the City of Toronto. Liquid Echo is an environmental work installed at 750 Bay Street in downtown Toronto in June of 1999, commissioned by H and R Developments as part of the program of integration of art and architecture for the City of Toronto. The entire plaza that is over 100 ft. long by about 33 ft. wide is designed as part of the work. The vent shafts to underground parking across the front of the site, that would have been massive concrete planters in the original plans, were razed and replaced with circular openings that house the supporting structure for the twenty-four spiral cut columns that turn to create the impression of a waterfall. All the language of the elements in this work is a translation of the experience of nature. My goal is to find a language and materials appropriate for the urban environment. Large boulders were cut and reassembled along the grid of the pavers to be seating in the warm weather. Inlaid into the pavers are sections of circles made from stainless steel to suggest the way light bounces off of water that has been disturbed. Small groves of honey locusts (on platforms to minimize the massive planters necessary for this site) frame the space and the stairs provide additional seating. Located along The Penrose Condominium Complex at 750 Bay Street. Project by H and R Developments and the City of Toronto, 100'x33' plaza.

Context & Credits

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Widgery Studio
Meet the Creator
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Wescover creator since 2019
Catherine Widgery’s practice of creating site-specific artworks for the public realm spans over 30 years. She has built her career around making public art because she is inspired by the richness of new places and meeting the people who will live with the artwork. Her works support multiple levels of meaning and experience. Anyone, child or art curator, will find something compelling to engage their senses, body and mind. She believes that giving her viewers something unexpected or intriguing helps awaken them to their surroundings. She engages them through mystery, ambiguity, changeability, animation and altered but recognizable imagery. The interpretation resides within the participant. Visitors are embraced by her artworks that often exist as shimmering light or movement in a shifting environment. Permeable, dematerialized, appearing and disappearing, her works in the public realm are never the same since it is nature’s energies and the viewer’s participation that determine the art at any given moment.

Catherine Widgery and her team have created more than 40 site-specific public art projects across the US and Canada. Her particular interest and strength are working with communities and teams to create environmental sculptural experiences that respond to the unique spirit, shape and function of a place. Wind, light, water and computer-controlled lighting programs communicate energy and animate the space within her environmental works. Catherine enlists an experienced team of talented specialists to ensure that every project is produced on time and within budget. She knows the best projects are the result of a lively dialogue between the stakeholders and the design team.

Catherine grew up wandering the forests and creeks around her family’s home outside of Pittsburgh and passed huge rivers and roaring steel mills each day on the way to school in town. This mixture of nature with built urban environments shaped her perceptions of the ever-changing balance between the two.

In addition to numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums, her award-winning projects have been featured on the covers of Sculpture, Landscape Architecture, Espace and World Sculpture News magazines.

Her most recent awards include the CODAawards Best Projects of 2015 for both Healthcare and Transportation, First Prize (Tidal Song)in the TGK 2012 International Competition and the PAN/Americans for the Arts selection of Cloudbreak outstanding artwork at 2011 conference.