Public artwork ‘High Five’ reaches up over ball park

‘High Five’ is the latest addition to improvements along Waterfront Drive

by Andrea Ratuski, CBC News, Posted: Aug 11, 2014


Is it a bird? Is a plane? Or is it a giant hand? High Five is a giant new public artwork that has just been installed on Waterfront Drive near Shaw Park.

The work resembles either five giant “wings” or “fins,” or from the perspective of the ball park, a huge hand, or even baseball glove.

The installation is open to interpretation, and that’s the way the artist, former Winnipegger Jennifer Stillwell, likes it.

“With my work I tend to try to play around with images and meaning and just trying to allow people to interpret it in more than one direction,” she said.

The structure is built out of stainless steel, with the surface treated three ways, and decorated with sign paint.

The circle motifs are meant to represent archery targets.

“I just really like the primary colours and also I wanted something that would really pop out in the landscape and against the trees,” she said.

Again, there’s more than one way to view the circles. They could represent rondelles on an aircraft or, from the viewpoint of the ball park, a kind of abstract fingerprint.

The resemblance to a target has not been lost on ball players.

“Yesterday someone hit one of the sculptures in batting practice and it let off a kind of gong sound,” she said, laughing.

Stillwell says reaction so far has been positive. “People are excited because it does have a presence within the space that is well integrated and certainly people slow down to take a look.

“People for the most part tune in to the humour of it. They’re acknowledging that it is engaging with the site next to the ball park.

Stillwell says she had to consider everything around her when developing her idea for that empty strip of land, including the traffic, the slope of the riverbank as well as the ball park.

“I couldn’t help but look at the monumental structures around there, including the ball diamond and it’s such a fun opportunity to engage with it, having that left field wall, I couldn’t resist,” she said.

High Five is installed on Waterfront Drive between Lombard and Pioneer.


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