Detail from Warren Carther's "Aperture" (CBC)
The commissioned works for the spacious, brand new air terminal at
Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport have now been
Guided by the architectural team responsible for the
new building, and a committee composed of members of Winnipeg's art and
design community, the art selection process has been ongoing since 2006
with 80 artists vying for a spot in the space.
The featured works by Joel Breman, Warren Carther, Jacqueline Metz and
Nancy Chew, and Ione Thorkelsson all reflect our northern landscape and
provide striking accents in this new airport which is bathed in natural light.
SCENE was given a sneak peak of the works while the terminal remained under construction. Here is a little visual tour.
When you first walk into the new terminal you are greeted by the large glass sculpture "Inside Ice." Crafted by the acclaimed Winnipeg artist Joel Berman, "Inside Ice" cascades down from the ceiling and appears like an iceberg hovering just off the ground. While I did not get to see the work as it is meant to be seen -- aglow in light and not blocked off with fencing -- you could already sense how "Inside Ice" will function as a beacon for your eye when you first enter the space.
Just past "Inside Ice" is the main baggage carousel, which is striking in and of itself. With 55 large circular skylights bordered with glowing blue accent lights, the main luggage carousel is flooded in a natural light that seems both organic and otherworldly.
On the main wall of the carousel area is the piece "Where the sky began / A map of the land" by Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew
. Metz and Chew's work features a huge aerial map of the city, the surrounding prairie and the rivers which cut through the landscape. Having just been installed, the lights that are meant to brighten the piece from within were yet to be activated so I cannot honestly say what the full visual impact of "Where the sky began / A map of the land" will be like. However the enormous scale of the work, and the fact that it greets you along the staircase as you make your way to baggage, is sure to provide visitors with an immediate talking point as they wait for their bags to arrive.
The airport itself is saturated with natural sunlight which adds an ethereal element to Ione Thorkelsson's
avian work "Incoming." Composed of a vast selection of hanging glass wings, "Incoming" is a most fitting addition to the terminal as the seeming flight path of the wings directs passengers down the spacious, brightly lit terminal. Up close, the detailing on the angelic-looking wings is quite striking, while from afar you could quite easily mistake the work as actual birds flying below the curved wooden ceiling.
The final piece of art is the only one that you must go through security to view. Located in what has now being deemed "Queen's Court"-- it is where Her Royal Highness first entered the city and where her time capsule for the city remains -- Warren Carther's
"Aperture" stands, looking somewhat like two icy-blue mini-monoliths starring at one another. Like the other pieces, it too, appears as a dream-like representation from the Canadian landscape with its stacks of glass being instantly representative of the layers of ice that cover northern Manitoba in winter.
The lights for "Aperture" were just being installed and although it was daytime, you could immediately tell what a striking piece it will be after you step off a plane at night and are greeted by it upon entering the terminal.
Images are, from top to bottom: "Inside Ice" by Joel Berman, "Where the sky began / A map of the land" by Metz and Chew, "Incoming" by Ione Thorkelsson and "Aperture" by Warren Carther. Special thanks to Christine Alongi for guiding me through the new terminal