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Three interactive pieces installed in trail system at Cotton Park

The Easel by Lionel and Terry StevensonThe official unveiling of three new interactive art pieces took place in Stratford in November. The three pieces were commissioned by the Town of Stratford through a proposal process which included artists, individually or in groups, demonstrate their vision for their art piece keeping with a theme of “nature.” All three pieces have been installed around the trail system at Robert L. Cotton Park, 57 Bunbury Road, and will remain permanent fixtures in the park.

“Stratford has recognized the integral value of celebrating, supporting and promoting arts and culture in the Town with this latest project building on previous pieces of art which have been installed throughout Stratford. These most recent installations are intended to see the public, of all ages, interact with the art,” comments Mayor David Dunphy.

Artists Kate Sharpley, Tiffany Baxter and Gweneth Branch Rice designed and created “Raccoon in a Willow Den” with a focal point that is playful and interactive, targeting the younger park user and animal lovers alike. It is constructed from layers of living willow branches rooted into the ground and tied to form a den structure while inside the den will be a life-size model of a raccoon. As the structure of the den is living, it continues to change throughout the year with each season.

Terry and Lionel Stevenson were influenced by artist Rene Magritte’s surrealist painting entitled “The Human Condition” in creating “The Easel.” It has been constructed from metal into a life size 3D piece that looks like an easel with a frame for a canvas. Where the canvas would normally be, the area remains open creating a view of nature around it. A pot of metal brushes attached further adds to the illusion that it is a landscape painted on the easel. The viewer interacts with this piece by rotating the easel and changing the view.

Racoon in a Willow Den by Gweneth Branch Rice, Kate Sharpley and Tiffany BaxterTerry & Lionel Stevenson have also created “The Reflective Box” which allows the viewer to look into one of the four sides and see mirrored reflections of the box’s natural surroundings. The four sides have tempered glass windows in shapes related to nature which reflects various surrounding objects from nature on the mirrors inside. This piece also rotates for the user to change the view.

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