Eight creative artists and organizations have added even more beauty to the Nestaweya River Trail at The Forks, just another collection of public art to add to their ever-growing collection.
Each design was created from the artist's own inspiration, from celebrating the 25th year of programming at the Graffiti Art Program to honouring the captivating northern lights, immigration and more.
"Public art is such an important part of what we do here. It adds to the fabric of our great public spaces," says Sara Stasiuk, CEO of The Forks North Portage. "It’s always our goal to foster new, emerging, and established local artists and organizations."
The Forks Windsock Exposition 2023 allows artists to take their creativity and change the typically conical textile tube to determine which direction the wind is coming from and the speed of it.
This year, the eight different artists and organizations used materials such as fabric, tulle, upcycled plastic bags, embroidery, spray paint, marker and more.
Familiar artists can be recognized as they have some of their art permanently at The Forks, this includes Jordan Van Sewell, Kale Sheppard, Mercedes Maduka, and Hanna Reimer.
Windsock Installation Summaries
Name: Happy 25th
Creator: Graffiti Art Programming
Inspiration: Graffiti Art Programming Inc.’s Happy 25th pays homage to the almighty spray paint can. Built from upcycled materials, the giant spray paint can pays tribute to graffiti as an art form and the DIY spirit that inspired the establishment of Graffiti Gallery a quarter of a century ago. GAP Inc. has since become a community institution supporting youth, families, and emerging artists with opportunities to utilize art for personal and career development, neighbourhood beautification and social inclusion.
After the spray paint can is installed on the Nestaweya River Trail, youth from our st.ART community art program will continue to add to the project by creating colourful pieces of artwork which will then be attached to the spray paint can nozzle, simulating aerosol spray. Happy 25th is designed to brighten up the wintery river trail with splashes of multi-coloured art, while promoting GAP’s exciting year of programming and celebrating our 25th Anniversary. We have an exciting exhibition lineup ahead, see you there!
Name: The Resistance
Creator: Mercedes Emeka Maduka
Inspiration: Most of Maduka's artworks explore the immigrant life in the West, and evidently, she was inspired to create a windsock out of the popular travel bags, known to her as "Ghana must-go bags," which shows up in most of her works. Creating a windsock out of these sturdy upcycled plastic bags that can survive most harsh conditions while protecting what is stored inside of them, the bag serves as a metaphor for the immigrant life; travelling distances, working long hours in search of a better life and surviving harsh conditions, but still resilient. Maduka details the piece by overlaying cut-out collages of immigrants using a similar material as the plastic bags.
Name: Gamut Windsock
Creator: Hanna Reimer
Inspiration: Inspired by the CIE 1931 chromaticity diagram, colour order systems like the Farbenpyramide and the Munsell Colour System, and learning to mix paint in elementary school, these three wind socks contain columns of overlapping hues and interactions between colours. A gamut is the range of colour that is available to different modes of communicating colour.
When put on a graph, the shape is similar to that of a traditional wind sock with a long body and tapered end. Dye sublimation printing, the process used to make these wind socks, has a larger gamut than other methods of printing. Although this process uses Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black as its primary colours, these three socks contain the nostalgic hues of Red, Yellow and Blue of childhood finger-painting. This piece references traditional wind socks with the use of stripes, but in this case, they overlap to create a chaotic pattern.
Creator: Kale Sheppard
Inspiration: Aurora was created to emulate the iconic northern lights, seldom seen in southern Manitoba. I wanted to bring this dazzling display to the folks of Winnipeg. Additionally, the swivelling hoop pays homage to my Inuit roots by being in the shape of a traditional (Inuit) hand drum. For an added effect, bring a blacklight.
Name: All That Glitter Is
Creator: Jordan Van Sewell
Inspiration: It seems that when the sun and the wind reflect and dance on the snow a special winter world explodes before us. All that glitters is… Embraces that magic.
*The last three installations have yet to take reveal photos*
Name: Miss, Mr. Me, Terry
Creator: Art City Inc.
Fabric, thread, permanent marker, spray paint. Participants at Art City's free, all ages drop-in art program created dozens of concept drawings for their Forks Windsock Exposition entry. One drawing, Miss, Mr, Me, Terry, stood out for its vibrant colours and frantic, scribbled energy contained within a bold, blue outline. Participants created a collaborative interpretation of the drawing as a windsock, aiming to capture its energy, colour palette, and shape. Art City thanks our friends at Allco Electrical for supplying the steel conduit windsock frame and Graffiti Art Programing for lending a safe space to apply spray paint.
Name: Des motes pour nous dire
Creator: La Maison des artistes visuels francophones
Inspiration: En décembre, La Maison des artistes a invité ses visiteurs à partager leurs mots favoris en français afin d'inspirer l'artiste textile Colette Balcaen dans la création d'un manche d'air brodé. Qu'ils soient drôles, inspirants ou tout simplement agréables à dire, ces mots sont le reflet de la francophonie d'ici. Des membres de la communauté ont aussi mis la main à l'aiguille pour réaliser cette œuvre collective. Merci à tous!
In December, La Maison des artistes invited its visitors to share their favorite words in French to inspire textile artist Colette Balcaen to create an embroidered windsock. Whether they are funny, inspiring or simply nice to say, these words are a reflection of the francophonie here in Winnipeg. Members of the community also put their hands to the needle to make this collective work. Merci à tous!
Name: Taking Flight
Creator: Marc Kuegle
For this Wind Vane project, I created a physical animation installation. I included my love for birds, wheat pasting, photography, graphic design and simple animation. I wanted to take my animated digital design and make it work w/o any screens or electronics. Using the help from the wind, when rotating, it gives you the illusion of a flying bird. I used the same principles as some early animation devices such as the phenakistoscope, zoetrope, and flip book.
I often use birds in my work. The saying ‘free as a bird’ is something I resonate with. Most of my inspiration comes from traveling, meeting new people and experiencing cultures from around the world. I like to imagine that's what birds get up to. Flying around the world, seeing and meeting birds from all walks (flights) of life. If you have the chance, smile or wave at a stranger and see what happens. That has been the start to some of my favourite adventures.
The Windsock Exposition is presented by The Winnipeg Foundation.