401 Richmond is a renovated industrial building that is now an arts and culture hub; it includes many little galleries. The building was built in stages between 1899 and 1923 for the Macdonald Manufacturing Company who made lithographed tinware such as biscuit tins and containers for tea and  tobacco.

Many of the galleries are participating in the CONTACT Photography Festival and what follows is a selection of what is on display at the moment.  A few non-photography installations have snuck in as well.

One of the galleries is the Red Head Gallery. Their exhibit, titled ‘Pentimento’, is a collection of work by some of their members.    From their website: “The work presented is a diverse commentary on the idea of photography and the definition, role & relevance of the photograph, both directly & indirectly, in the act of image and object making.”

below: ‘Untitled’ by Tonia Di Risio. The photos have been printed on vinyl and then stuck to the gallery wall.

an artwork that is a collage of photos of cookies, tables, and bungalows, stacked on top of each other to make a large tower

below: “Still Life with Paper’ by Jim Bourke

image on a gallery wall, orange table cloth, an open newspaper with illustraion of a woman's head, two partially filled cups of tea, with saucers

below: ‘Process’ by Sally Thurlow is 6 photographs of a demolition and renovation of a house (prompted by a rotting roof) and the upheaval that that causes.   Each little frame is made from something from the job site including Tims cups and yellow caution tape.

Process, and artwork by Sally Thurlow, of photos in a wood frame and each photo is framed with found objects

The word pentimento means “a visible trace of earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas.”  The last blog post dealt with palimpsest which is erased text that becomes visible and it seems to me that pentimento is very similar, but with pictures not words, paint not ink.

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Urbanspace Gallery, “Further Along the Road”, an exhibit of photos taken on Dupont Street in Toronto, by Eliot Wright.

below: Left: 1220 Dundas St looking west.  Right: 1072 Dundas Street West.  Both photos were taken in July 2016

two photos taken on Dupont street, the one on the right is of 3 old cars parked in a driveway. The other is of signs for taxis and car repair shops

below: Left: CP railline, west of Shaw.  Right top: Creeds coffee bar, 390 Dupont St., taken from the CP tracks, July 2016.   Right bottom: CP rail line west of Dufferin, August 2016

Three photos of trains and train tracks on Dupont Street

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below: Laura Shintani, Bodywashi! at Tangled Art Gallery

art installation that uses strips of plastic shower curtain. The squares in the plastic make the person on the other side appear many times - one each in every square

It’s like a car wash for people although no water is involved.  Strips of translucent plastic (shower curtain material?) hang from the ceiling.   After walking through the plastic you encounter the scene below.

an art installation that looks like the puffy pieces in a car wash

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Gallery 44, “Developing Historical Narratives”

art gallery room with three large canvases on the floor, all wth bright yellow backgrounds

 

below: One of the images in ‘Petro Suburbs’, a series of black and white images by Hajra Waheed, also Gallery 44.   The subject matter is based on old aerial photos of Dhahran Saudi Arabia, a town that the artist grew up in.  It was also a gated town built for Saudi ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company).  Dhahran was protected by airbases, both US & Saudi, as well as by the CIA and such.  Access and privacy were strictly controlled and photography and filming were not allowed.

an aerial photo of a U shaped street of suburban houses, surroundings are blacnked out with translucent paper or something similar

 

below: Untitled cyanotypes by Sarah Comfort, part of a series called “More Than This”.

4 cyanotype prints (blue) on a gallery wall

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below: An image by Shelley Wildeman, superimposed people in the hallway.

a photo of a large entrance way, lots of glass, and many people superimposed over each other.

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below: Two pieces by Florence Yee, who introduces herself on her website as: “Florence Cing-Gaai Yee is a queer Cantonese visual artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtià:ke/Montreal.  These hang in the Space Gallery which are windows in the hallway on the ground floor at 401 Richmond.

4 rice clear rice bags with red handles, with embroidery on them, red words that say, she saw me at the grocery store and remembered to get rice

artwork by Florence Yee, a plastic dry cleaners bag hanging on a hanger on a wall with a white fringed piece of cloth inside, on the outside of the bag are the words, They said I was whitewashed by Chinese people only run dry cleaners

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The last of the 401 Richmond galleries that I explored this past week is the Abbozzo Gallery where Patty Maher’s exhibit “The Sky as my Witness ” is now being shown.

below: “The Quiet Storm”

a large photo of a red headed woman, long hair, in a braid, standing on a snow covered road with her back to the camera, in the countryside

below: “Parallel Universe”.  Because we are all just dots in the universe.  The same but different.

close up of a Patty Maher photograph, Parallel Universe, the back of two red headed women, both with large dice on their head, one die per head,

below: “Land Line”.

A Patty Maher photo of a woman standing on a deserted country road with an old rotary phone at her feet, her head has been cropped out of the photo, foggy in the background

The above photo is from a series called ‘The Liminal Field’.  On her website, Maher describes the series thusly: “This staged self portrait series is an exploration of the state of liminality that occurs in midlife.  It is an attempt to symbolically describe the transformation that needs to take place when moving from youth to the second half of life.  The field depicted here is a construct and does not exist in real space.  It has been constructed to indicate a place that is both personal an intangible.  Each photo symbolically depicts an internal struggle that is necessarily part of this transition.”

 

As you can see, there is a a wide selection of images and ideas lurking in the galleries at 401 Richmond.   Most exhibits change over every month or so – so there is always something to see.

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