Posts Tagged ‘fish’

While meandering down Croft Street today I discovered a new mural by Bruno Smoky on a garage.   A large reddish face of a man – Neptune, the God of the Sea?   It also makes me think of the book, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.

mural on a double garage door, man's face, fish swimming underwater, by Bruno Smoky 2018

Two very large swim nearby.

mural by Bruno Smoky, part of it, two large fish swimming under water.

part of a mural on a garage door by Bruno Smoky, a large red face of a man.

Can you see anything in it?

details of a mural by Jimmy Chiale

The above image, with its location icon, is just a small portion of a large mural by Jimmy Chiale.   You’ll find it in the Bloorcourt neighbourhood, on the SW corner of Shaw and Bloor West to be specific.  ‘Make Good’ it says.

large colourful mural by J. Chiale on the side of a building. Large white letters that say Make Good.

I  think that its fascinating to look at and I suspect that you would see something different in it each time you passed by.   Here are a few more close up pictures of the details in the mural.  Thousands of shapes all outlined in black some of which seem to make eyes, faces, and a bird’s beak.

shapes, lines and patterns in Jimmy Chiale mural

below: …. a totem pole, an owl and a horse head….

totem pole and horse and other details from Jimmy Chiale mural

below:  … and a camera shutter and a fish?
It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw different things!

Bloorcourt mural details, colours and shapes all outlined in black

The 16 storey Concourse Building at 100 Adelaide Street West was built in 1928. It was an Art Deco building designed by Martin, Baldwin and Green.  Recently, the building as amalgamated into a new 40 storey office tower.  The Concourse Building was gutted but the south and east facades were saved.  Also saved was the entranceway (portal) that was designed by J.E.H. MacDonald, one of Canada’s Group of Seven painters.

entrance to 100 Adelaide West, a stone building, with brass decorated doors and mosaic pictures decorating it. The concourse building, with stone relief work between the third and fourth storey windows as well

below: The entrance is 2 storeys high, topped with a Roman arch.   The rectangular panel above the door contains the four elements, earth (produce from the fields), air (stars and birds), fire, and water (fish swimming).

entrance to 100 Adelaide West, a stone building, with brass decorated doors and mosaic pictures decorating it.

below: The mosaics under the arch represent Canadian industry and nature.   Here, ship building and aircraft are depicted.

two of the panels designed by J.E. H. MacDonald on the Concourse building, a ship with sails, and an airplane

below: On the other side, a steam shovel and what looks like lightning in the sky.

two of the panels designed by J.E. H. MacDonald on the Concourse building, a steam shovel in action, and a panel with a lightning bolt

below: The stone panels surrounding the door are carved with motifs of grapes and grape vines.

a square panel of stone carved with grapes and grape vines

below: All seven mosaic pictures under the arch.

the panel of mosaic pictures under the arch, a lamp hanging down from the center,

This is a #Thursdaydoors post.  Lots of other blogs participate so if you are interested in doors of all kinds, check out this link.

 

 

This is another Graffiti Alley post to accompany yesterday’s hearts and love post.  This time, I want to share some photos of the latest large mural in the alley, Uber 5000’s Toronto themed mural.  There are lots of references to things found in the city!

below: A pair of CN towers.

Graffiti alley, large building covered on both sides with murals by Uber 5000, marine life facing the alley and a new Toronto themed mural on the west side, partially obscured by garages in the alley, and behind a chainlink fence.

below: Looking in windows with a black cat looking back out, some fish and an owl in a tree.

part of Uber 5000 Toronto mural in Graffiti Alley, houses, cat, orange fish, apartments, owl in a tree,
below:  That Toronto Maple Leaf fan isn’t looking very happy – I hope that he’s not about to jump off the roof! Perhaps the Blue Jay is there to console him?  The Leafs last won the Stanley cup in 1967 (it ‘s the 50th anniversary!).  As for the Hubbo dog reference, I have no idea what that is about.

blue jay with yyz baseball cap, baseball bat, a maple leaf fan dressed in hockey shirt with large blue maple leaf painted on his face, sitting on a roof

below: A shout out to Canada’s 150th birthday.   An Uber 5000 yellow birdie flies a helicopter – with a couple of happy looking passengers!

part of a large mural, blue sky painted background, the underside of an airplane as it passes overhead, painted with 150 and a red maple leaf, flying beside it is a red helicopter with a Uber5000 birdie flying it.

below: The IKEA monkey in its sheepskin jacket is climbing the CN Tower.   Look closely and you’ll see that someone has already made it to the top.   Another little figure is on the crane!

part of a larger mural, a monkey in a sheepskin jacket is climbing the CN tower. A small black figure is sitting on top of the tower.

below: One of the “nicknames” used for Toronto is YYZ which is the airport code for Pearson, Toronto’s largest airport.  The YTZ in the mural is the airport code for Toronto’s other airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.   Also in the mural is the old Sam the Record Man sign that used to be hang over the store at 357 Yonge Street, a record/music store that was in business from there from 1961 to 2007.  The building has since been demolished to make way for the Ryerson University Student Learning Center.  There has been talk of installing the sign somewhere near Yonge Dundas Square but as far as I know, that hasn’t happened yet.

part of an Uber 5000 mural, yyz, condo building with balconies, a woman sitting on the roof with a yellow birdie, ghetto blaster on the roof, Sam the Record man sign,

below: A chainlink fence keeps people from getting close to the mural so taking photos of the bottom portion of the mural is difficult.  I think that the area behind the fence is actually someone’s backyard so I understand why there is no access.   The moose looks out over the fence.

a large mural on a wall behind a fence, painted moose, large, seems to be looking over the fence.

street art, graffiti, and murals on walls and garages in GRaffiti Alley

 

You’ve probably never heard the word asafo before.  You probably have no idea what it means.

Until last week I didn’t know the word existed either.

I went to the Royal Ontario Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit.  There were 100 excellent pictures of insects, animals, marine life, the sort of thing you’d expect.  There was no photography allowed in that exhibit so I have no photos of the images on display.  You’ll have to take my word for it that I was there.

I can appreciate the skill and patience that it takes to capture rabbits in the snow or a school of fish in a certain light underwater but those kind of pictures don’t excite me.   That’s not to diminish the work of the photographers, it was all very high caliber both technically and visually.    What I think I’m trying to say is that I left the exhibit wanting more, something more from my visit to the ROM.

Luckily I didn’t have to look far.  In the next room was Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana.

museum exhibit of asafo flags from Ghana, colourful flags of militia groups in yellows, reds and black. Many are hanging in display cases.

Colour, lots of colour.  And a subject that I knew nothing about, asafo flags.  I wasn’t even sure what part of Africa Ghana is in (It’s on the south coast of Western Africa between Togo and the Ivory Coast as it turns out.).

The flags are hand made with an assortment of different motifs.  The British Jack in the upper left corner is a very common feature.  That’s a clue.  Yes, Ghana was a British colony.   Reading the history of Ghana is like reading the colonial history of large parts of Africa.  The Portuguese built a fortress at Elmina in 1482.    Interest in the region was piqued by the presence of gold, hence the name Gold Coast.   By the early 17th century the first African state,  Akwamu, controlled an extensive part of the coast.  They were displaced by the Ashanti who were very involved in the slave trade, especially in trading slaves for weapons.   When European countries outlawed trading in slaves in the early 1800’s,  Ashanti power suffers.   Some tussles ensue, a few battles, some back and forth, and by 1902 what was Ashanti becomes is a British colony.    It remained a colony until 1957.

close up of a flag, hand made, British Jack in the top left corner, a man walks in front of a church in the center, a black bear in the top right.

I’m not going to pretend to know or understand African history.  I’m only trying to give some context to the flags.    First, jump back to my mention of Elmina and the Portuguese. When the Portuguese arrived in this area in the 15th century, it was the Fante (or Fanti) people that they encountered.  Both the Fante and the Ashanti belong to the Akan people.  The Fante prevented them from venturing inland and leased properties for Portuguese trading missions. But when the Portuguese objected to Fante rules and regulations the Fante expelled them.  Soon after, the Dutch arrived.  The Fante served as middlemen in the commerce between the interior and Dutch traders on the coast.

Around 1724 the Dutch either established or made important a number of militia groups of local Fante.  These are the Asafo companies.  Historically, Asafo companies were in charge of the safety and protection of the local community.   At the height of the slave trade they protected individuals and communities.   They exerted power, exercise political influence and maintain codes of conduct within Fante communities. Each company has a flag and that flag has many roles.   They represent proverbs and depict narratives of pride and wisdom.  They accompany oral history and provide a means to preserve customs and traditions.

below:

  1. top flag, by Kweku Kakanu, Saltpond Workshop. “Only a brave man goes under a large tree” because only large animals go under large trees. Made sometime between 1950 and 1957.
  2. bottom flag, artist unknown, Kromantse Workshop. “Only tie a bull to a large tree”. Both the animal and the tree are acknowledged to be strong and mighty.  Made around 1980.  It has a Ghanese flag in the top left corner.

 

two flags displayed on a black background, with three femail mannequins dressed in traditional Ghanese costume.

below:

  1. top flag, by Kweku Kakanu, Saltpond Workshop. A crocodile dominates and controls a pond of fish. Made around 1940.  The prey can not escape.
  2. bottom flag, by Kwesi Budu, Saltpond Workshop. The fish cann’t escape the net of the fishermen just like enemies will not be able to escape when confronted by the company.  Made around 1950.

two flags displayed on a black background, with two male mannequins dressed in military Ghanese costume.

Fante asafo flags from Ghana, two on display in a museum, chickens and roosters,

Fante asafo flags from Ghana, two on display in a museum, griffons

two mannequins in military uniforms as part of a museum exhibit at ROM

 

 

Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles and Costumes,
ROM, 4th floor,
until March 2017.

 

 

 

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of the fence along Craven Road that has been decorated with artwork and old artifacts.  I was south of Gerrard Street when I took the photos.   I didn’t realize at the time that I missed another outdoor gallery on the other side of  Gerrard.  Today I took some pictures of those on display on the north side.   Here they are in no particular order:

below: Looking north up Craven Road along the fence.
That tropical sunset on the left looks very inviting!

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, looking down the length of most of the gallery, small pile of snow against the fence, painting in the foreground is warm Caribbean sun on beach with palm tree, Craven Road

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, an evergreen bough hangs over the top of the fence, above a painting of trees in a forest in winter, low sun, and long blue shadows.

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, Craven Road in Toronto, two paintings of black trees (no leaves) on red, and one grey tree on orange background,

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, a black tree on a blue background. Snow has been blown against the wood fence and some of it has stuck to the fence, Craven Road

below: Some of the paintings are small words in another language and another alphabet.  Can anyone translate for me?

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, four paintings. One black tree on light brown paper, and three small paintings with words in a different language with a different alphabet, Bengali perhaps

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, Craven Road, trees on blue and green background
small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, three paintings, one is a fish

By now I’m very curious about this street and this fence.  I found a long, detailed, and interesting history written by local historian Joanne Doucette that you can read here.

 

It’s good to see the ‘Hug Me!’ tree is still on Queen Street!

large tree stump with some of the large branches, painted an orangish brown colour with a face and the words 'hug me' on a downtown sidewalk inToronto (Queen Street West)

If you look closely in the background of the above photo, you can spot the reason I was exploring this section of Queen St West (near Soho St).  Along the wall by the parking lot is a new mural.

below:  Floating man, floating down the river with an photo from the past clutched in his hand.  “Tona as Marty McFly Disappearing Photos” by Elicser Elliott.  It is another of the Love Letter to the Great Lakes project murals.

mural of a man lying on his back in the water, words written in red Tona as Marty McFly

There were two other Love Letter murals that I came here to find.

below: If you look up as you walk along Queen Street West you might catch a glimpse of this mural by JAZ (Franco Fasoli).  Arms, or tentacles, seem to be reaching out of the water and strangling the fish.

mural on an upper storey wall, viewed from the street so you can't see the whole thing. A fish seems be strangled by tentacles in the water

below: The third mural is around the corner from the other two, on Bulwer Street.  It’s a large portrait of David Suzuki painted by Kevin Ledo.  The blue shapes on the right are outlines of fish (atlantic salmon apparently) but I cut their tails off when I took the picture.

a large mural with the centerpiece being a portrait of David Suzuki

below: I haven’t walked along Bulwer St for a while so it was nice to see that this (unsigned?) mural is still there even though someone has spray painted some words on it.

mural on the side of a building, kids playing

below: One last little find on Bulwer, a circuit board stikman

a little stikman covered with circuit board symbols, missing part of his head, on a door frame outside,

Other posts about the Love Letter to the Great Lakes project murals:

  1. love letters in paint
  2. seawalls and serpents
  3.  at the mouth of the Don

 

#seawallsTO | #pangeaseed | #loveletterprojects