Posts Tagged ‘blue’

Waterlicht is a large-scale light installation by Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch artist.   It showed at the Bentway, in front of Fort York, for three nights this past weekend.

below: Light, like water flowing under the Gardiner.

blue lights under the Gardiner at the Bentway, in front of Fort York, a light show called Waterlicht by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde

below: The fluid patterns of light and smoke created waves and angles of blue.

blue lights under the Gardiner at the Bentway, in front of Fort York, a light show called Waterlicht by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde

below: One of many selfies

selfies in front of blue lights under the Gardiner at the Bentway, in front of Fort York, a light show called Waterlicht by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde

below: From above

blue lights under the Gardiner at the Bentway, in front of Fort York, a light show called Waterlicht by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde

 

Caterpillars and butterflies is the theme of the latest laneway painting project.  A year ago, Nick Sweetman led a group of street artists who painted garage doors in a lane near Garrison Creek park with pictures of butterflies.   These murals appeared in blog post in June 2017

This year’s project was similar.   Many of the same artists were involved again this year.  They used garages, fences and gates in a lane near Felstead Park (a block south of Greenwood subway station) as their canvas.  Once again, the theme was butterflies as it too was part of the David Suzuki Foundation’s butterflyways project.  This time, a similar blue background was used in all the murals which has given it a more unified appearance.

a lane with many painted garage doors, butterfly murals, summer time, green leaves, lots of trees, two people walking

The project was curated by Nick Sweetman and it had the support of Start aka StreetARToronto

below: Felstead Park, by @braes_ack

title mural on a garage door, Felstead Park murals, butterflies

below: In the shadow of the weed are the letters CTR

geometric, angular butterflies

below: Mural signed by Kehoe, the face of David Suzuki

a butterfly and a face merged into one, the eyes look out over the top of the red and yellow wings

below: Green and yellow toadstools by mska

mural by mska on a garage door and fence, green and yellow toadstools

below: Mural by @oriah_scott

two large butterflies in a mural by @oriah_scott

below: butterfly among the pink and red flowers, by P.S. aka Phillip Saunders

large pink butterfly with pink and red flowers by P.S.

below: A sombre dark piece (is it finished?) by @poserabm

dark grey and brown painting, one small butterfly by poserabm

below: Three butterflies by Serina

butterfly mural by serina

below: Collaboration – A monarch painted by Nick Sweetman and a wonderful rose by Wales

mural by Nick Sweetman, large realistic looking butterfly and a large pinkish rose

below: A bright and busy mural by Spyone and Tensoe

mural on a wood fence - butterflies and flowers

monarch butterfly painted on a garage door

below: The hookah-smoking caterpillar from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is crawling across the fence.  Painted by elicser

caterpilar

below: Red panda out on a limb, perhaps chasing the butterfly, by Ted Hamer (@The1astRonin)

an animal (possum, red panda?), walks out on a tree branch towards a blue butterfly, mural on a fence

below: A butterfly in the garden; the work of Anya Mielniczek

mural running horizontally across garage, garage door and adjoining fence, butterflies and flowers

below: Two flowers, one pink and one blue, by Chris Perez

blue flower painted on a garage door, by @chrispperez

below: It looks  a lot like a skull on the back of this butterfly painted by @cmazzulla aka Christine Mazzulla

colourful butterfly mural on a garage door, blue background

below: A curled up caterpillar in pink and black, very larger than life!, by Spud.

a large pink and black caterpilar curled up on a garage door - mural

below: By Dezed, a butterly, mushrooms, and a bit of water

butterly mural, pond, mountains in the background, pinkish sky

below: Reaching out to the butterfly, giving the butterfly a helping hand, painted by @drippin_soul (Kalkidan Assefa)

a mural by @drippin_soul of a hand reaching towards a blue butterfly

below: On the right, Emma, the property owner’s dog who died recently.  Nick Sweetman painted the dog while @mr_tensoe2 painted the dog’s name

geometric striped butterfly with a dog head beside it. above dog is written the word Emma

 

 

 

Tucked away on a garage in an alley near Brunswick and Harbord is a garage with three murals, at least two of which are the work of Aaron Li-Hill.

a two car garage in an alley, murals on both garage doors as well as on the side of the building

below: This mural is not new but I am not sure how old it is.  I am not even sure if I have seen it before.   I can’t believe that I found an alley that I haven’t walked before in this area, but anything’s possible.   This mural is by Li-Hill for sure.

a mural in two pictures of two women and a large tree by Aaron Li-Hill on the side of a garage in an alley

below: This too is the work of Aaron Li-Hill as you can see from the signature.

women with sohort dark hair from the neck up, side view, eyes closed, mural on a garage door by Aaron Li-Hill

below: This seaside town scene has no signature.  I like the little people, one with a surfboard, some playing in the water, and a couple hand in hand.

seaside town mural, buildings, water, beach, people, seawall, on a garage door in an alley, laneway

One more reason to wander the lanes and alleys of the city!
(With thanks to Anita for walking with me and showing me this garage.)

 

There are four exhibitions at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at the moment.

One of the exhibits is “A Wall is just a Wall” by Kapwani Kiwanga. Here, a hallway has been transformed with pink and blue lights. If you walk down this hall, you’ll find an entranceway to another section of the gallery with more of Kiwanga’s work. The gist of the thought behind her exhibit is the affect that architecture and design (such as colour) has on the behaviour of those exposed to it.   It’s a bit disconcerting to walk through the lights – they affect your perception of space and make you feel a bit dizzy.  Or at least that’s what happened to me!

a hallway is lit in pink and blue lighting, covers all walls and ceiling too

Another hall.  Another exhibit.  This time, an installation by Latifa Echakhch called “Cross Fade”.   You can see it in the Fleck Clerestory which is the long, high hallway that runs down the middle of the building.  For the installation, the walls were painted light blue with white cloud shapes.  Chunks of the outer layer of plaster were then removed and pieces left on the floor.    The sky is falling!  I can just see Chicken Little running around.  The sky is falling!  But in this case, he’d be right.

When I first saw the installation, I only saw the lower portion and I assumed that it was a neglected wall.  It looks like many of the walls you find in lanes and alleys.  To me it represented the cycle of building and decay that plays out all around us.   I struggle with the idea that painting it to look like the sky changes how the piece should be perceived.  Are we supposed to be upset that the sky is broken and lying on the ground?  Is the use of the normal (plaster falling off a neglected wall) to try to show the abnormal (the sky falling apart) on purpose?  If so, to what purpose?

high walls in a narrow room, walls covered with plaster and painted light blue with clouds, some of the plaster is peeling away and it's supposed to look like the sky is falling . a large window is at the end of the room

below: Looking up towards the skylights.   It is more apparent from this angle that the walls are painted to look like the sky.   By the way, cross fade is the technique in sound or movie editing  where a picture or sound gradually appears at the same time as another disappears.

looking upwards to a skylight two storeys above, the walls of the narrow room (hall) are covered with plaster and painted light blue with clouds, some of the plaster is peeling away and it's supposed to look like the sky is falling

From the online description of the exhibit:  “…. Cross Fade evokes the remains of an action that has already taken place. Echakhch’s wall painting of the sky appears to be falling apart. Fragments of the sky still exist intact on the upper sections of the walls, out of reach, reminding us of its beauty. However, large parts of the sky lie on the ground, creating a peculiar feeling that something beyond our control is either happening or has just happened. The technique employed here references the classical fresco, a second skin that usually leads the viewer into a painted world, a trompe-l’œil, rendering the two-dimensionality of the wall invisible. On the contrary, Echakhch’s work shatters this illusion, rooting us in the present, which like a cross fade, is caught between the past and the future.”

 

Leaving the hall theme behind, the last two exhibits are:

below:  Part of “On Fishes, Horses and Man”  by Jonathas de Andrade

a room in an art gallery filled with posters of men hanging from the ceiling at various levels. All have the words museu do homem do noreste

below:  And “The One Who Keeps on Giving” by Maria Hupfield

art installation on a gallery ceiling of many light bulbs of different shapes and sizes hanging from a piece of wood on cords of different, but short, lengths.

All exhibits continue until mid May.

 

 Two empty chairs sitting in the sun.  This photo is only a half truth; it suggests that the beach was sunny but empty yesterday when I took the photo.    Sunny yes, empty no.

two empty muskoka chairs on the beach beside Lake Ontario on a sunny February day

Back in the winter of 2015, I discovered the first “Winter Stations” event on a day when the temperature was -20C.  There weren’t many people there that year!   In contrast, yesterday was a beautiful and unseasonably warm February Sunday.  Temperatures hit the double digits and lots of people come out to take advantage of the weather.  It was also the first weekend of the 2017 version of ‘Winter Stations’.  Although the installations officially opened today, all but one of them were completed and ready for the public yesterday.

below: One of the installations is “North” which was designed by studio PERCH in Montreal.   Yes, it’s Christmas trees hung upside down.  They are prickling to walk between.  This year there seems to be a recycling and reusing theme in a lot of the installations.   At least I hope these trees weren’t cut down specifically for this project.

on the beach, people in winter jackets stand around looking at an art installation that consists of evergreen trees, Christmas trees, hung upside down.

below: Another installation is “Collective Memory” designed by Mario Garcia (Barcelona Spain) and Andrea Govi (Milan Italy).   People are encouraged to leave messages in the bottles.

an art installation on the beach, people in winter clothes, two parallel walls about 10 feet high made of a layer of horizontally arranged empty plastic bottles with the opening facing in, people are writing on paper and then putting the messages in the bottles.

below: Paper is provided as are the bottles.  The walls are constructed of horizontal empty plastic water bottles with the openings all on the inside of the structure.

a boy is rolling up a piece of paper in inserting it in the opening of an empty plastic bottle.

below: The sun shining through the plastic bottles makes for some interesting effects.

sunlight shines through a wall of plastic bottles, some people walking in front of it. Collective Memory installation at Winter Stations 2017 on Toronto's waterfront.

below: Like most of the installations, “Collective Memory” encloses a lifeguard station.

an art installation on the beach, people in winter clothes, two parallel walls about 10 feet high made of a layer of horizontally arranged empty plastic bottles with the opening facing in, people are writing on paper and then putting the messages in the bottles. view form one end, the walls enclose a lifeguard station, 4 kids are on the lifeguard platform

below: The installation that wasn’t ready yet is “The Beacon” designed by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva (Porto Portugal).

a woman pokes her head inside a hole in a tall wood structure on the beach, other art installations are in the background, lots of people, some people sitting on chairs.

The installation in the background in the above photograph is “BuoyBuoyBuoy” designed by Dionisios Vriniotis, Rob Shostak, Dakota Wares-Tani, and Julie Forand (Toronto Canada).

below: One of many photo ops!

three kids stand on top of a lifeguard station that is enclosed by an art installation that is construction of many oval shapes joined together. Some are white, some are clear and some are reflective. A mother is taking a picture of the kids.

below: Notched ovals made of wood and clear plastic were used to build this installation.  The wood pieces were either painted white or covered with silvery reflective material.

 close up photo of part of an artwork made of wooden oval shapes that are notched together.

kids climb up the center of an art installation called buoy buoy buoy, standing on the lifeguard station platform that is the middle of the artwork. Made of wooden oval shapes that are notched together.

below: More reflections, this time in “The Illusory” designed by a group from Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology.

a girl in a turquoise t-shirt is reflected many times in a wall of relfective material and several posts around the wall covered in the same material.

below:  Someone has already written on (scratched?) the surface.

three men are reflected in a shiny surface on an art installation. Someon has scratched the word LOVE into the surface

below: “The Illusory” in front, “Flotsam and “Jetsam” behind, and lots of people in between.

lots of people walking past and looking at two art installations on the beach as part of Winter Stations event

below: “Flotsam and Jetsam” was designed by a team from the University of Waterloo.  It consists of cubes made of wire cages.  The cages on the bottom are filled with empty plastic bottles of different colours and shapes.

people looking at an art installation on the beach made of wire cage cubes stacked on top of each other. The ones on the bottom are filled with empty plastic bottles of different colours and shapes. The upper cages are empty and they are joined together to look like the head of a creature.

two boys peer out from behind a wall of wire cages filled with empty plastic bottles. One of the cages is empty as looks like a window

sun shines through empty plastic bottles and looks like the bottles are lights

empty plastic bottles in a wire cage sits on the sand of the beach

a tower of plastic bottle filled wire cages stands in front of Lake Ontario

***

a father and daughter link fingers behind the mother's back, the women are in winter coats, father is in jeans and plaid long sleeved shirt

The Winter Stations will remain until the 27th of March.

Yesterday afternoon I wandered into The Power Plant Art Gallery.  It was late enough in the day that the sun was already low in the sky.  It shone through the large windows in the main gallery and cast a warm glow on the current exhibit, works by Yto Barrada titled ‘Faux Guide’ .

The first thing you see when you enter the rooms is a collection of carpets.  This is ‘Geological Time Scale’ and it consists of bright and bold red, blue, and green carpets – Beni Mguild, Marmoucha and Ait Sgougou pile rugs from Western Central, Middle Atlas, Morocco.   It’s definitely eye catching and it definitely draws the viewer into the exhibit.

main exhibit room of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, large room with two large windows in which the low afternoon sun is shining. Exhibit by Yto Barrada consisting of red, green and blue carpets on the floor. some framed pictures on the far wall, walls have been painted yellow up to about 4 feet from the floor.

A series of  small exhibits are arranged around the room and most of them are the result of the artist’s research on Moroccan dinosaurs, fossils, and the industry that has built up around them including the trade in fake fossils sold to tourists and museums.   I have not shown most of these exhibits – I will leave it up to you to discover them.

below: “I am not exotic I am exhausted”.  I suspect that this comes as Barrada’s response to living in a place (Tangiers Morroco) where tourists come to see “exotic things”.  But it is also the lament of anyone trying to live and work in a place that is also a “tourist attraction”.

Part of an exhibit by Yto Barrada of a series of posters printed on paper and loosely tacked to the wall, of images and words. 6 shown in this photo. Including one that only has a few word on it, I am not exotic I am exhausted.

below: The whole of ‘A Modest Proposal’ and ‘Faux Guide’, 2015.  A set of 48 posters loosely tacked to the wall.  A mix of humorous and poignant.  One is an alphabetical listing of all the types of dinosaurs found in Morocco.  One says “Miss Colorado and Miss Finland are Moroccan” – which did happen in 2012.

Part of an exhibit by Yto Barrada of a series of posters printed on paper and loosely tacked to the wall, of images and words. They are arranged in a grid of 12 x 8 pictures. A woman is standing in front of them, reading the words on one. Blue and red carpets are on the floor in the foreground.

below: ‘Plumber Assemblage’ by the window, with skaters outside in the fading light.

plumber assemblage, an artwork by Yto Barrada consisting of a few sculpture like pieces made from pipes, faucets, taps, shower heads and other plumbing things.

There are many, many things that you can take from this exhibit.  Many things to think about.

An article in the  Toronto Star claims that Barrada  “explores the cultural heritage of her homeland through a colonial lens” and how that heritage has been used to make money from tourists.   But….   Is this the making of money by exploiting one’s culture and history?  Or the exploiting of Moroccan culture and history by the tourists?

Tourists go searching for the foreign and the exotic.  Many of them are souvenir hunters – Sometimes it’s a selfie in front of every “famous” place (or interesting building or whatever) and sometimes it’s a “find”.  But we live in a world that is full of  ‘made in China’ souvenirs and we are a people that don’t care to distinguish between the real and the fake.  We just want a story to tell the folks back home.

There were once dinosaurs living in a tropical land in what is now Morocco….  how the world has changed, and is changing.   Insert your opinions on climate change here.

Because it is a collection of exhibits under one umbrella, it has been compared to a museum.  Very trendy.   One description of the exhibit claims that it is “Meant to make us question the ways in which museums confer value on things”.  Can I take that one step further by asking, how do art galleries confer status on art and artists?  Museums make curatorial choices and so do art galleries.  Barrada too has surely made choices as have I.

You are probably wondering what carpets on the floor have to do with all those words that I just wrote.  Good question.  I think that Yto Barrada is on to something – an exhibit that has visual appeal, offends no one, and is flexible in its interpretation (i.e. it says something different to everyone and fits nicely into most people’s narratives).   You can agree with me, or disagree.  Best to go and see it for yourself and form your own opinions…. mine just might be fake.

below: People skating on the frozen Natrel Pond beside The Power Plant.

late afternoon with the sun low in the sky casting yellowish glow on the world, Toronto skyline in the background with its condos and construction cranes, also The Power Plant Center and art gallery. In the foreground is the frozen Natrel Pond of Harbourfront and on it people are skating.

Yto Barrada’s exhibit will be on at The Power Plant until the 2nd of January.

A comparison of sorts.  Two painters from two different time periods.  One looked north and the other looks south.  The north with its barren cold and blue in comparison to the south and its lush greenness.  A famous anglo Canadian painter who went searching for simplicity and a relatively new British painter with Jamaican roots who explores complexities.

Lawren Harris and Hurvin Anderson.  You should know which is which!

I didn’t purposely set out to compare them.  I saw the ‘The Idea of North’ exhibit that features the Steve Martin paintings of Lawren Harris first.  As much as I like the Group of Seven, Harris’s minimalist snow and ice paintings have never been my favorite.  Still, it was an interesting collection to see.  After I finished there, I headed up to the contemporary art floors.  The fifth floor is still closed (new installation opening later this week) but I discovered that the fourth floor is devoted to the works of Hurvin Anderson.  As I walked around the Anderson installation I kept thinking of similarities and differences between him and Lawren Harris.

many people in a room in an art gallery, standing around and looking at paintings.

below: Mountains in Snow: Rocky Mountain Paintings VII, 1929.  One of the many famous Lawren Harris snow and ice paintings.  Light, reflected light, shadows, and contrasts.  The elements reduced to their simplest form.   The landscape itself is almost secondary.  Or the landscape is the medium, not the message.

a Lawren Harris painting of a snow covered mountain, blue sky in the background.

below: The large painting on the right is ‘Pic Island’ painted about 1924.  Pic Island is an unpopulated island along the north shore of Lake Superior.  Today the island is part of Neys Provincial Park.

a woman walks through a gallery with paintings on the wall. She stops to look at one of them.

below: Two of Hurvin Anderson’s paintings from his Caribbean landscape collection.  On the left is ‘Beaded Curtain – Red Apples’, 2010.

three young women sitting on a couch with their backs to the camera, they are looking at two large paintings on a wall, by Hurvin Anderson.

below:  ‘Constructed View’, 2010.  Anderson’s Caribbean paintings have grilles incorporated into them.  These are the security features prevalent on houses and businesses in the Caribbean (and elsewhere in the world), metal fixtures over windows and doors to keep out the unwanted.  They contain what’s inside.  They are a barrier.  They intrude on the landscape and cut it up.  Again, the landscape is almost secondary.  The message, or emotion, is more important.  [aside – There is a grille in the painting above (right) but it’s more subtle.]

a landscape painting in shades of green with fragments of white grille overlayed, repeating pattern of 4 circles with a square

Lawren Harris painted his famous mountain pictures in the late 1920’s.  In 1930 he visited Baffin Island and a few paintings resulted from that trip.  I learned that although I associate Harris with icebergs and arctic scenery, most of his snow and ice paintings were from the north shore of Lake Superior or from the mountains around Banff Alberta.

The repetoire of both painters is not limited to landscapes.  Harris painted many houses and street scenes from downtown Toronto including houses and streets that were demolished years ago.  The examples of Anderson’s non-landscape work were interiors.  Both men used bold colours but Anderson tends to show more detail in his paintings.

below: ‘Welcome: Carib’  The Welcome sign of the bar in  juxtaposition with the red metal work covering the window.  The picture beckons to us but keeps us out.

a man in a straw fedora stands in front of a painting called Welcome: Carib by Hurvin anderson, it features a red star patterned grille over the painting, over the window that is in front of the interior scene.

below: One of the paintings from Anderson’s Barbershop collection, ‘Flat Top’ 2008.

two young women walk away from a large painting hanging on an art gallerywall.  two barber chairs in a barber shop, empty.  Bright pink wall with squares of colour.

below: A selection of colourful Toronto houses in winter painted by Harris in the 1920s.

two women look at a line Lawren Harris paintings of brightly coloured houses in winter on a wall in an art gallery

In the 1930’s Lawren Harris’s personal life went awry.  The words on the wall at the AGO says that he divorced, remarried and moved to the states.  That’s a bit of spin.  He didn’t divorce his wife because that would be messy, apparently.  Instead in 1934 he just married the wife of an old friend.   And of course that turned messy and the new couple left for the USA for a few years before eventually settling in Vancouver BC.   Harris’s post-1934 work is very abstract and was never as successful as his earlier paintings.

below:  You can see the influence of the mountain paintings in this,  ‘Painting No. 4’, about 1939, painted when he was a member of the Transcendental Painting Group.  This was a collective of artists in New Mexico that Harris help to found.

an abstract painting by Lawren Harris, circles and diamonds in an egg shape

below: Since I have no idea where the art of Hurvin Anderson is headed, I will leave you with one more of his present paintings (I’m not sure those two ideas actually go together!).  ‘Foska Foska’, the interior of a shop behind yellow bars and black mesh.

a painting by Hurvin Anderson called Foska Foska, shows the interior of a store with a yellow metal gate in front.  and a wire structure covering the ceiling too

 

The Idea of North – until 18 September

Hurvin Anderson – until 21 August

#HarrisAGO | #HurvinAndersonAGO