Meet Aurora Darwin, the Toronto Artist Crafting our Water Warrior Award

This year marks the launch of our annual Water Warrior Award which will be presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to protecting and raising awareness about threats and issues faced by water. 

We wanted to make sure that the award itself would be more than just a paperweight - we wanted the recipient of each award to cherish and proudly display it as a work of art, a reminder of the beauty that water activism brings to the world - a bridge between the problems faced by water and the solutions. And so, we commissioned a local Toronto glass artist - Aurora Darwin - to design and create the physical awards that will be given each year to the selected water warrior. Aurora was featured in the documentary The Peel Project, which had its Toronto premiere at the 2017 Water Docs Film Festival. During the premiere, Aurora displayed some of her artwork that had been inspired by her journey down the Peel River Watershed during the making of the documentary. This artwork was part of the inspiration for us behind the Water Warrior Award itself as we contemplated what we wanted to offer each recipient of the award. 

Meet the Artist

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Aurora Darwin is a Resident artist at Harbourfront Centres glass studio in Toronto. Aurora studied Glass and Welding at Sheridan College. 

Aurora currently has an exhibit touring nationally as part of The Peel Project. The Peel Project is a feature documentary and gallery show that follows 6 artists’ journey through Canada’s arctic, paddling the last undeveloped watershed in North America. Her work has been shown at Craft Ontario, Toronto Outdoor Arts Exhibition, Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse), Arts Commons (Calgary), Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, (Dawson City) Tetlit Gwichin Centre (NWT) and numerous other group shows.

Aurora was awarded the 2011 Scholarship to attend Pilchuk Glass School in Seattle, Washington. Aurora received recognition of outstanding achievement in the Craft and Design Glass program.

Aurora spent her formative years living and traveling internationally. She became unwittingly influenced by how people identify and interact with their surrounding environments; from the high-rise concrete structures of Hong Kong to the contrasting tropical forests of Indonesia. For Aurora, glass is a medium that is malleable enough to depict both the strength and structure of cities and the serenity and power of nature. 

Aurora continues to develop her craft and artistic practice in the studio. 

The Water Docs Water Warrior Award

We were lucky enough to join Aurora at her studio at Harbourfront Centre this past week to watch the amazing process involved in creating the award (stay tuned for the 'making-of' film, to be released on our Facebook page early this week!). Here are some photos of the process, stay tuned to see the finished award and see it in person when we present it to author and activist Maude Barlow on #WaterDocs2018 Opening Night, April 12 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema!

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