Installation artist and designer Casey Watson discusses the importance of providing viewers with unique and immersive experiences.
How would you describe your profession and your practice?
I’m an installation artist and designer, dedicated to creating larger-than-life immersive, multi-sensory experiences. My practice revolves around creating and transforming environments with bold forms and dynamic lighting to create captivating immersive spaces.
Has your work changed over the course of your career?
My work has always centred around installation art, but it has evolved, exploring different forms, from handcrafted window displays to shaping retail and interior spaces. This journey has allowed me to continually experiment and learn the ways in which viewers interact with immersive spaces.
What was your “eureka!” moment that made you realize that art/design was the route you wanted to take?
Instead of a single “eureka” moment, my journey was characterized by a courageous leap into the world of freelancing. It was the decision to fully dedicate myself to this path that ignited my passion and commitment to this art form.
Is your work inspired by anything in particular? What turns you on creatively?
My work is deeply inspired by the prospect of providing viewers with unique and immersive experiences. Beyond a surface or screen, I want my work to be fully immersive and transport the audience, even if just for a few moments.
Which designers or artists inspire you and why?
One of my biggest sources of inspiration is James Turrell. His mastery of light as a medium is truly remarkable, especially in his immersive ‘Skyspace’ series.
What is the name of your 2024 DesignTO Festival installation, and what can attendees expect to experience?
In 2024, I am thrilled to present ‘Look Up!’ – a sensory celebration window installation hosted at Cutler & Gross on Queen Street West. Attendees can expect a captivating and playful immersive piece with light, a myriad of colours, and movement.
How long have you been involved with DesignTO? Why is DesignTO important to the creative community, here and abroad?
This is my first year participating in DesignTO. In previous years, I’ve been an avid admirer of the Festival and the remarkable window displays across the city. It’s an absolute pleasure to join this vibrant creative community. DesignTO is an essential platform for fostering innovation and bringing together creative minds, not just locally, but on a global scale.
Do you have any memories from past DesignTO Festivals you want to share?
One standout memory from a past DesignTO Festival was Raymond Girard’s window installation ‘Toying With Utopia’ at 313 Design Market. The level of detail, playfulness, and creativity in that installation was one of my highlights.
Lastly, what random fact about yourself would you like to share with the DesignTO community?
One random fact about me is that I’m an avid traveler with a passion for uncovering hidden speakeasies in cities worldwide! I love searching for these underground gems and have an appreciation for the artistry that goes into all the immersive details, from ambience down to the cocktails.
‘Look Up’ is just one of over 100 free window installations, exhibitions and events at the 2024 DesignTO Festival, January 19-28, 2024. Visit the Festival Schedule to learn more about ‘Look Up’ and other projects.