Event Public Sweat saunas by artists

Curated and produced by Art Spin

Artist leads for 2023 event: Simone Jones, SHEEEP (Reza Nik, Connor Stevens), Chris Foster, Fastwurms, Christie Pearson

Geospheric Sweatbath by Christie Pearson with Kathryn Walter of FELT Studio, Sara Torrie of Sartoria, and sound artist Rob Cruickshank

Site: Harbourfront Centre Green, Toronto

Published: Toronto Star, CBC Arts, NOW, The Buzz


Public Sweat brought artists and sweat bathing together for an outstanding 6-week event at Toronto’s waterfront. Christie served as project advisor and as artist lead for the installation Geospheric Sweatbath: an elemental hot, dry space to counter the damp, cold season. Its structure is a custom cedar geodesic dome measuring 12 feet across and 8 feet at its highest point, designed for groups of 8 bathers. Drawing on landscape experiences of Northern Ontario and sweat bathing typologies from around the world in its form, materiality, and scale, this sweatbath connects bathing, utopian communities, and the DIY spirit that continues to reinvigorate these traditions. The exterior is wrapped in soft layers which will not last forever. Crouching to enter, we must stay close to the ground once inside. Our skin and lungs breathe in the cedar structure’s oils, then expand into porous exchange with stone, wood, and felted wool. The open floor invites us to lie on our backs, warm as sun-heated granite long after dusk. Gazing upwards through an aperture we see the sky. The view and structure is reflected in the polished stone floor below, which subtly vibrates with a sub-sonic rhythm. Off-the-shelf heating elements convey the simple roots of sauna building with the cultivation of thermal delight in everyday spaces. Straddling above and below, between ideal form and vernacular improvisation, Geospheric Sweatbath creates a tactile and sensual immersion for sweating together.

Photos: Priam Thomas for Art Spin