Exploring the art of light in the Distillery District
Entertainment Mar 14, 2017 Melissa Krikke
The cobblestone streets of Toronto’s Distillery district are looking at light in a new way.
They’re transforming light into art. Light’s illuminating every corridor in the district.
The Toronto Light Fest has transformed the Distillery District into an interactive exploration of light art. The Light Fest includes art exhibits from Canadian artists Kelly Mark, Ryan Longo, Thadea Decora, and Studio F Minus.
The fest also includes exhibits by artists from Lebanon, Australia, and Israel.
The Light Fest was created by Mathew Rosenblatt, the mastermind behind Toronto’s Christmas Market. The aim is to bring Torontonians out of the dark of winter and into its light.
“In a world with so many dark and ominous messages, we want to create a positive, magical urban world that people of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy and look forward to,” Rosenblatt says in a statement.
Light art exhibits are sprinkled throughout the district.
The exhibit by Studio F Minus, a project of Canadians Michell Chan and Brad Hindson, combines mechanics with light to give visitors an out-of-body experience. A visitor will sit on a stationary bicycle in front of a projection of Eadweard Muybridge’s horse studies. The visitor’s image is juxtaposed with the horse, so it looks like the visitor is a jockey. From there, visitors define the experience they have. The faster they pedal, the faster they’re propelled through the fictitious landscape.
“We do all sorts of projects, but the ones that we always come back to, and many of our most successful ones, are the ones that use the most ethereal materials. Light, air, wind, water… these are the materials we come back to the most,” said Mitchell F. Chan from Studio F Minus.
“Light is a medium I understand. Some people understand clay, some people understand paint, but light’s always been my thing. And light’s under-utilized in the art world,” Hindson says.
This is Toronto’s inaugural light festival.
Light art is explored through a variety of exhibits including ‘The Magic Dance Mirror’ created by Kyle Ruddick. In essence the exhibit tracks your movement through light.
The mirror gives real-time animation to dances by creating a mirror image of your surroundings – taking into account sound and movement.
Professional dancer from Magen Boys Entertainment, Aaron Garcia, mesmerized visitors as he interacted with the mirror.
“I have never seen this much variation of light for the purpose of art. It’s a wonderful experience to see,” Garcia says.
The Light Fest is on exhibit until March 12.