Posts Tagged ‘art’

This morning’s blog post is a mixed up mashed up collection of some of the pictures that I have taken in the past few days. The theme running through the post is “sunny days and people making the most of it.”  It seems like an appropriate subject for a grey morning!

below: #duckman, one of the many ‘performers’ outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge Street.

a young Japanese man is dressed in a yellow body suit, seated on a stool on the sidewalk on Yonge Street, he is playing the drums - actually 5 empty plastic upside down buckets, with #duckman written on the buckets

below: The beginnings of a new mural on Queen Street West.

motorcycle in the foreground, a man painting a white outline of a rose as part of a mural on the side of Canada Convenience store on Queen West, a few people watching him paint

below: This weekend was the annual Riverdale ArtWalk at Jimmie Simpson Park and Community Center.

a man stands holding up a painting (bottom of painting is resting on the ground), more painting displayed on the wall behind him, at the outdoor Riverdale Artwalk art show and sale

below: Dancing to the drums of Venice and Kevin who are playing as past of an event to raise money to fight sickle cell disease.

a young woman dancers at the bottom of the stage steps at nathan phillips,  two people are beating drums on the satge

below: Four singers – they’ve just finished performing on the stage at Yonge Dundas Square as part of the DesiFEST celebrations.

four female singers are smiling, they've just finished a song, performing at Yonge Dundas square as part of Desifest, all 4 are of South Asian descent

below: A sign of the times.

a blackboard sign on the sidewalk in front of Brioche restaurant that says we serve Covfefe. People walking on the sidewalk,

below: It wasn’t just the people who were dressed for summer.

two little white dogs on a leach, both have pink and white frilly dresses on.

below: Gardening season has begun!  The vacant lot beside Nick Sweetman’s mural has been turned into a Garden Centre.

garden plants for sale, outdoors, in front of a large mural, bees, by Nick, on Queen st east

a front yard with gardening supplies, and pots of plants on the front steps

below: With their backs to the windows … but it looks like they’re dressed for summer

two mannequins with their backs to two windows, both dressed in red clothes

people riding down the escalator at the Eaton Centre, a large screen is playing a slideshow of summer pictures as part of an advertising campaign.

a mother helps her young daughter reach down and touch the water in the fountain at Nathan Phillips square

‘Making Peace’ is a traveling exhibit that is being shown in Toronto at the moment.  It was produced by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and was first shown in in 2010 as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 1910 Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to IPB.  It’s purpose is to promote peace as well as educate and inform.

It can be seen until the end of June on Front Street East in the Canary District (by Corktown Commons, east of the Distillery District).    In Toronto, the exhibit involves short four-sided pillars that line the sidewalk and each side of every pillar has a photo with a description or a quote from a famous person.  There is also a temporary gallery in an indoor space ‘loaned’ to the exhibit by one of the developers in the Canary District.

below: A painting in progress by Ford Medina showing Nelson Mandela in five colours.  These colours carry over into the outdoor exhibit and each colour represents the five main elements that IPB considers necessary for peace:
1. disarmament and nonviolence (purple)
2. conflict prevention and resolution (red)
3. economic and social justice (orange)
4. human rights, law and democracy (blue)
5. environment and sustainable development (green)

indoor temporary gallery for the Making Peace exhibit, a painter is in the midst of creating a large painting of five copies of a picture of Nelson Mandela, each copy is in a different colour, purple, red, orange, blue and green,

below: The display extends into Corktown Commons.  Here the pillars are green as this is the section for the fifth element named above, the environment.

outdoor exhibit, Corktown Commons, short pillars with 4 sides, each side has a picture and a description, the background colour is green which represents the environment and sustainability.

below:  Photo by Ribeiro Antonio.  The words that accompany this photo are: ” On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN agreed to an historic plan of action, entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.  This plan contains 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues.  These include ending poverty and hunger, improving health education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.”  If you are interested in this, there is more information on the UN website.

a photo of a person dressed in a large blue and green Planet Earth costume, holding the hand of a young boy as the walk on a beach towards the water

below: Blue is for human rights, law, and democracy and here you have an old black and white photograph of Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), a British campaigner, apparently taken when she was in Australia speaking out on behalf of woman’s rights as part of the Suffragette movement.  The Suffragettes (or Women’s Social and Political Union or WSPU) was founded by a small group of women in 1903, including Sylvia, but during WW1 Sylvia was expelled from the WSPU because of her pacifist views and anti-war actions.  Her sister Adela shared similar views – she immigrated to Australia where campaigned against the First World War.

a vintage black and white photo that is part of an exhibit, outdoors, called Making Peace

below: Two photos.  The one on the right, of the woman holding the flower in front of the armed soldiers, was taken at a Peace March against the Vietnam War in Washington DC in 1967.  The photo on the left was taken in 2001 and is the back of a Kamajor fighter in Sierra Leone.  They played a role in the civil war that occurred in that country between 1991 and 2002.

2 sides, taken from the corner, of a box like structure, with black and white photographs on the two sides, one of the back of a man with a rifle across his shoulders and a backpack that says Lets go to school. The other photo is a woman standing up to a line of soldiers with bayonets.

below: A couple of the red pillars on Front Street with the blue sculpture, “The Water Guardians ” behind them.   The images on the closest pillar are of inside the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem as well as UN peacekeepers in Bosnia.

an outdoor art exhibit on peace, two of the structures used for mounting pictures on, with the blue sculpture on Front Street, Canaray District, in between the two boxes.

below: Closer to home, this pillar celebrates the work of the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation.   Working with the city as well as with community groups, businesses, and individuals, they help to increase  Toronto’s tree cover.

a set of four photos about planting trees on the side of a square pillar, one of many pillars that are arranged in a line on the sidewalk.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”  Gandhi

below: Homeless migrant worker, China

picture of a woman sleeping underneath a picture of a woman lying on a bed, shown outdoors so there are some tree leaves in the picture

The exhibit continues until mid-September.

I was away for most of the month of May so I missed a lot of the annual Contact Photography Festival.  In the few days that I had to catch up, I visited a few of the exhibits.  One of these was ‘Nous ne somme pas des heros’ (We are not heroes) by Valerie Blass at the Allen Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place.

two large cubes constructed from pieces of photos of different people in different positions sit in the middle of Brookfield Place, under the glass arched roof.

Blass arranged people in sculpture-like poses and then photographed them from different angles.  The photographs were then cut into sections, glued on blocks,  and then the ‘sculptures’ were re-assembled.

a large stack of blocks with black and white photos of people on them by Valerie Blass.

The subjects of the sculptures are anonymous.  Their “bodies fold inward, their differences intertwine and merge into single entities” (source).

photographs of the back of a person with another person sitting on his shoulders, upper person is leaning forward with head down, the blocks on which the photos are printed are in the walkway at Brookfield Place

bottom part of photos by Valerie Blass on a block at Brookfield Place as part of Scotiabank Contact photography festival, feet. Also the feet of people walking past.

small painting of a red headed woman torso, amrs, and head, in a gold frame on a wall with lots of other paintings, except on e is missing and there is a white sign saying why its missing

All kinds of thoughts went through my head as I stood and looked at this painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  A little ho hum and a little melancholy and a little well what next.  There were no new exhibits since the last time that I visited the AGO and quite a few galleries were being prepared for new showings (i.e. closed).   A little bit of that’s a waste of time.   Even here there’s a painting missing.  … no, it’s only a waste of time if I let it be.

I stood and studied her face, the expression on her face, the tilt of her head and one hand held up.  What was going through her head?  Was the artist trying to tell us something about her?  Or was he just playing with composition in a limited space?  And that’s when the game began – what expressions hang on the walls of the AGO?  A sample:

 

below: part of “Time Dissolve” created around 1992 by Carl Beam (M’Chigeeng Ontario 1943-2000) using photo emulsion, acrylic and pencil on canvas.

part of Time Dissolve, an artwork by Carl Beam. Old photo of a woman seated on the ground bRed letters saying my mother are written on the woman and a red circle is around the boy's head

below: manipulating a series of portraits by Will Gorlitz (b. Argentina 1952).  The paintings were done in 1984 and are called Genre IV, Genre XVI, etc.  Nameless.   Unless her name was Genre and he’s painted her 6 times (one of the paintings in the row is not included here).

a series of 5 women's faces hung in a row on the art gallery wall, paintings by Will Gorlitz

below: Two pieces.  A sculpture called  “Eskimo Mother and Child” (about 1938) by Frances Loring and the portrait “Bess” by Canadian painter Lawren Harris.   I have talked about Loring in a previous post.

a sculpture of a woman with a child on her back, called Eskimo Mother and child by Frances Loring. She stands by a painting by Lawren Harris called Bess which a portrait of a woman in a black hat and black coat

below: part of “Melancholy”, oil on canvas, by Hendrick Terbrugghen (The Netherlands, 1588-1629)

a painting of a young woman sitting, with her hand resting on her hand, elbow on table, lit by candle light, called Melancholy painted by Hendrick Terbrugghen

below: part of “Waitress”, oil on canvas, by Shelley Niro, 1986  (b. USA 1954)

a painting of a waitress wearing black glasses serving a plate of food to a surprised looking red head woman with green eyes, called Waitress, painted by Shelley Niro

below: Engraving on paper, “Drunken Men at a Table” by Gillis Van Breen, Dutch, around 1600.

engraving on paper called Drunken men at a table, by Karel Van Mander, done late in the 1500's

below: The last picture is obviously from a painting with a religious theme. Unfortunately, the photo that I took of the tag with the artist’s name is too blurry to read.  I tried a google search on the image and the first hit was the Wikipedia page for Paul Bernardo.  Oh dear, Google that’s a fail… apparently it’s similar to a figure in a painting by Bernardo Carbone who was a painter in the 1600’s.   So Google put 2 and 2 together and got 17.   Hopefully you (and I) don’t get many 17’s!

part of a religious painting of a young man in a red robe kneeling before another man in white who has one hand on the young man's shoulder.

This is a story about an exhibit that is showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario at the moment, “A Story of Negotiation” by Francis Alys.  The exhibit is a look at three of Alys’s large projects.  For each project there were many studies, notes, and sketches.  Drawings and paintings dot the walls and cover many tables.  There are three large videos to watch (not the ones shown below).  It is a fairly complex installation and only a small part of it is included here.

two women looking over a table with art displays on it , in an art gallery

below: In 2006 Alys tried to organize two lines of fishing boats, one from Florida and one from Cuba, that would form a bridge between the United States and Florida.  It was unsuccessful.  He repeated the project in 2008, this time between Spain and Morocco.

a young man is looking at two video screens that are mounted on the wall

a line of little sailboats on the floor, all parallel to each other, the base of the boat (hull) is a flip flop or sandal.

below: More on borders, pairs of words that depend on which side you’re on.
Words such as leave/return and us/them.

4 small green and yellow pictures on a pink wall

Alys also spent time embedded with British forces in Afghanistan.

a display of pictures, paintings, drawings, sketches, and notes as part of an art exhibit

below: Alys made a videos on kids flying kites in Afghanistan.  There was also a video of kids rolling a large reel of film through the streets and alleys in an Afghan city.

3 wood benches in front of a table mounted to a wall, art on the table, a video screen on the wall with a movie about kids in Afghanistan flying kites, some people in the background

below: Weapons made of found objects

in a yellow room with two small pictures hanging crookedly on the wall. A table in the middle of the room, glass covering artwork on the table. Sitting on the table is an automatic rifle (artwork) made of found objects

below: Instead of a round of ammunition, there is a reel of film. This is true in all of Alys’s ‘automatic rifles’ that are displayed here

close up of a sculpture of an automatic rifle where the round of ammo is replaced by a reel of film

a circle of art weapons, automatic rifles, made of found objects, with barrels all pointed inwards,

The exhibit continues at the AGO until April 2nd.

a little wooden human figure is doing the front crawl, one arm outstretched, on a bubble of clear plastic on a table top

Right now, the section of Sheppard Avenue East between Yonge and Leslie streets is a mix of old, middle aged and new – a hodge podge of sizes, styles and uses.   It’s neither ugly nor pretty.  It’s not sure if it’s city or  suburban.

below: The intersection of Bayview and Sheppard from the southwest.

main road with traffic, coming to an intersection, with a tall building in the background

You’ll probably never hear anyone say, “Hey, let’s go for a walk along Sheppard”.  So why was I there?   I’ve driven along this stretch many times but I have never walked it.  Have I been missing something?

below: A short distance west of Bayview is the modern brick St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, or ÁrpádHázi Szt. Erzsébet Római Katolikus Templom according to their sign.  Sunday mass is in Hungarian.   If you are driving past on Sheppard Ave, it’s easy to miss the simple steeple and cross that marks this building as a church.

steeple of St. Elizabeth of HUngary RC church, modern brick building with simple cross on the top

below: A large mosaic adorns one of the exterior walls.

mosaic on the exterior brick wall of St. Elizabeth of Hungary RC Church showing St. Elizabeth and two people kneeling beside her.

below: A small shrine is in front of the church.

small picture of Mary and baby Jesus in bright colours, on a small shrine in front of a church

below: The south entrance to Bayview subway station.  There are no escalators at this entrance  – instead, there is an elevator and a LOT of stairs.

south entrance to Bayview subway station with tall residential buildings behind and a construction site beside

below: The artwork at Bayview station is by Panya Clark Espinal, titled ‘From Here Right Now’.  Half an apple lies on the platform.

art on a subway platform, a line drawing of a very large apple that has been cut in half, on the wall and floor of the station

below: A salt or pepper shaker on the wall.  I’ve only shown two of the images in the series.  There are 24 in total and they are scattered throughout the  station.

art on a subway platform wall, a salt or pepper shaker in black on white tiles

below: There is a small park behind the south entrance to Bayview subway station, Kenaston Garden Parkette where I saw this tree in bud.   The first signs of spring are always wonderful to see.   Today it’s -12C outside so I hope the tree is okay.

pussy willow buds on a tree

below: This little park was designed by Wilk Associates Landscape Architecture and it incorporates a large number of rocks including a glacial boulder found on the site.   A bronze sculpture of a tree clinging to a rock  by Reinhard Reitzenstein is one of the features of the park.

small sculpture in a park of a sapling on a rock with its roots growing over the surface of the rock

below: If you stand in the park and look east,  you can’t miss the construction.

small sculpture in a park of a sapling on a rock with its roots growing over the surface of the rock - crane and construction site in the background

a convex mirror beside a black and yellow caution sign, condos are reflected in the mirror

the front and side of a large truck is in the foreground, right side, with a construction site beyond

Construction is everywhere on Sheppard Avenue.

below: All of the houses on Cusack Court are now gone.  Only the ‘No Exit’ sign remains.

a construction site where the houses on a a whole street have been demolished. The no exit sign for the street still remains., the site is behind a chainlink fence

a banner of the Canadian flag has fallen over and is lying on the ground behind a chainlink fence

below: The single family homes on the south side of Sheppard are slowly being demolished to make way for condo developments.  At the corner of Sheppard Ave East and Greenbriar  the proposed development of 184 residential units is the subject of an OMB prehearing on the 8 May 2017  (case number PL161113).

a boarded up house, split level, built in the 1950s, is in the foreground, condos and apartment buildings are behind it

below: Five houses are empty and waiting to be demolished to make way for two buildings, 11 and 6 storeys, mixed use (i.e. retail at street level) and incorporating a few townhouses.  In other words, the same old same old.

a boarded up house, split level, built in the 1950s, is in the foreground, condos and apartment buildings are behind it

below:  I said “same old same old” above because these types of buildings are popping up all over  many major roads that are outside the downtown core.  I suspect that Sheppard Avenue will be lined with structures like this one that’s already been built on the north side of Sheppard.

across the street is a 10 storey residential building, cars on the street, small trees in the foreground

Many people make the argument that there isn’t the density to support a subway along Sheppard.  I am of the opinion that if they’re not wrong now, they soon will be.   Development and public transit are dependent on each other, a symbiotic relationship if you will.   If you are affected by the construction along Eglinton for the new Crosstown line, you might agree that waiting for density only increases the problems and inconvenience (and cost?) of building new subway lines.   Also, have you seen photos of what the area around Davisville or Finch (and others) stations looked like when the subway opened there?   What is the required density?  Why do we want to funnel even more people towards the overcrowded Yonge line anyhow?   Is there an end to the questions we can ask?

And that’s another reason for my walk here…. to make note of the construction that is occurring whether we agree with it or not and to document some of  the changes.

below:  Two low rise apartment buildings.

two three storey brick apartment buildings with balconie in the front, taken from across the street

below: Once upon a time there were a lot of these little houses along Sheppard (even more so on the west side of Yonge Street).  At least one of these is still used as a family home but most are now offices or businesses.

a few small brick houses on the south side of Sheppard Ave

below: The north entrance to Bessarion station

looking across the street to the small north entrance to Bessarion subway station, with a small two storey plaza beside it

below: Looking east from Bessarion.  You can see as far as the condos on Don Mills Road.

looking west from Bessarion subway station towards Leslie Street and beyond,

   There is a reason that you haven’t seen many people in these pictures and it’s not because I waited for people to get out of the way.   Sheppard Avenue is a “major arterial road” under Toronto’s road classification system and traffic movement is its major function.  20,000+ cars are expected to use it every day.

I don’t like to say it, but why would you be walking along Sheppard anyhow?

below: Bayview Village parking lot at the NE corner of Bayview and Sheppard.

parking lot of a mall, Bayview village with surrounding buildings in the background.

As you might know, scroll down to the next blog post to see some pictures of Bessarion station!

 

This looks like an ordinary entrance into a TTC subway station.  It is.
It’s Bessarion station on Line 4, the Sheppard Line.

escalator down into Bessarion station

The red arrow points to one of a series of little photographs of hands that run beside the escalator to street level.

I’d be willing to bet that none of you have been to Bessarion subway station.  If you’ve heard of the station it’s probably in the context of complaints that no one uses the station so why did the city spend so much money building it.   One of the reasons for the low volume of traffic is that there are no bus routes (besides Sheppard) that serve this station.  Apparently in 2014 an average of 2380 people used the station on weekdays.  If true, then 2379 plus me where there today (although the stats may have increased since then).    I took some pictures for you – you will now have an idea of what the station looks like without having to go there.

photos of peoples legs and feet in black and white on tiles on a yellow tiled subway station wall, over the metal turnstiles for entry into the station, artwork by Sylvie Belanger

below: An art installation called ‘Passing’ dominates the yellow walls of the station concourse level.  It consists of a band of black and white photographs of legs and feet taken by Sylvie Belanger.  The little pictures of hands that I mentioned at the beginning of this blog are also part of this installation.

photos of peoples legs and feet in black and white on tiles on a yellow tiled subway station wall, over and beside two Bell pay phones, artwork by Sylvie Belanger

below: The pictures of legs and feet run around the whole concourse level of the station.

below: Down the escalator to the lower level.

looking down the main escalator at Bessarion subway station, the upper level has yellow walls and the lower level (track level) can also be seen.

below: I was not alone!

pillar covered in red tiles and with a black and white photo of the back of three peoples head, a man with a turban and a woman in a head scarf and someone with curly hair.

below: The artwork at track level is a continuation of the photographs by Sylvie Belanger.  This time the pictures are of the backs of people’s heads and they are incorporated into the red pillars.

close up of black and white photo of the back of peoples heads, one child's face turns to the camera and is slightly out of focus, Passing by Sylvie Belanger at Bessarion subway station

below: The outer walls are bare concrete and there are very few ads or posters on the walls.

from the subway platform at Bessarion subway station looking toward the concrete wall at the edge of the tracks, signs for the station, and direction signs.