Posts Tagged ‘maple leaf’

The other day I headed towards Dupont and Dundas West because I heard about a mural that I didn’t recall having seen.  Here it is … and more.

below: The most westerly part of the mural is on the north side of Dundas West where Old Weston Road and Annette Street meet.

mural on a wall beside a busy street

mural with a bird, chicakdee or sparrow beside a large orange tiger lily

mural, large painting of a tiger lily and a sparrow

 

It continues along the side of the railway underpass on Dupont (it’s a confusing tangle of streets here!)

car stopped in traffic under railway bridge, driver is looking at the mural that is painted under the underpass

….and on the stairwell up to the West Toronto Railpath.

part of a mural, a robin and an orange rose, outside, beside a staircase

colourful mural outside beside a staircase, large flowers and leaves including an orange maple leaf

It was a gorgeous day so I walked around a bit more, of course!

below: On Dundas West

street art of a young person writing on the wall with red letters that say it's just a phase

below: A row of houses with wonderful facades.  You don’t many like that anymore! .. at least not on houses.

older two storey row houses with facades that extend above the roof line,

below: These fooled me at first.  Interesting black and white photos looking grubby and worn… with a small McDonalds logo on the bottom right.   The photo on the bottom left also has a few words in small print that give away the fact this is a McDonalds promotion.  I don’t think I’ve seen any like these elsewhere – or have I missed something?

4 large black and white photos of people eating hamburgers, that is actually a mcdonalds ad

below: The large black metal staircase at the end of the footbridge over the tracks at Wallace Ave are gone.  The replacement stairs are dull and bland.  This change was meant to accommodate new development on Wallace.

new stairs at the end of a footbridge over the train tracks at Wallace street in Toronto, beside the West Toronto Railpath

below: Railpath window reflections.

reflections of the sky in a window

below: Also on the West Toronto Railpath, someone has hung this colourful ‘curtain’ on the fence in order to add a splash of colour to a sitting area.  Once upon a time there were more chairs here.  And a table if I remember correctly.

fabric hanging from a rope beside a footpath, large green cylinder stoarge unit behind it.

below: One of two chalkboards installed by crazydames where people have written notes to cyclists imploring them to slow down and use their bells.  I totally agree!  Just before I came upon this, a man on an electric bike came up behind me, silently and fast.

large chalkboard on an orange brick wall with notes to tell cyclists to slow down and ring their bells.

below: This little gnome still stands by the entrance to a convenience store.  This guarden gnome has been here (Bloor West) for a few years.

a small gnome painted on the wall beside a door to a convenience store. The door is open and people are walking past

below: Reduce, reuse, recycle – here the R used is reuse.   Truck and tractor parts and other bits and pieces craftily arranged and put to use on the outside of the Farmhouse Tavern.  It should look better in a couple of months!

planters on an exterior wall, made of truck and tractor parts

below: A fairy in a garden of mushrooms.

a mural of a fairy, woman, with wings, holding something in her hand and looking upwards, in a garden with large mushrooms,

graffiti on a black wall, white bird like head on pick square

One last look at part of that mural!

mural with flowers, shadows in front

part of a mural, large light purple flower with yellow center and dark pink at inner most part of petals

 

This past weekend was the 5th annual Bloor Yorkville Icefest.
It’s an event that features ice sculptures in the park at Cumberland and Bellair.

The theme this year was Canada 150, as 2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday.

a group of people sit and stand on a large rock behind an ice sculpture of a maple leaf with the words Canada 150 under it, all carved in ice.

below: Sculptures in an enclosure (i.e. no one gets close enough to touch).  The Parliament building in Ottawa is on the left with a very tall RCMP Mountie standing beside it.  I’m not sure who the sculpture in the middle is supposed to represent.   On the right, a large 1867, the year of Confederation, on top of a large 2017.

people standing on a large rock to look at ice sculptures of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, a tall RCMP mountie and the numbers 1867 2017 .

below: A number of artists worked on their sculptures as part of the festival.  This mountie and beaver had  just been completed before I arrived.

an ice sculpture of a mountie and a beaver has just been finished. The tools used by the artist are lying around on the ground below the sculpture.

below:  A large chunk of ice gets cut into smaller cubes.   Each cube contains a small toy that had been frozen in the ice.  For $2 you could buy an ice cube and smash it to liberate the toy.

a man is using a chainsaw to cut a chunk of ice into smaller cubes. Small toys have been frozen into the ice. Other people are watching, especially two kids.

Don’t miss the sign in the background!

below: Complete with spelling mistake. Charlottetown is spelled wrong.
Also, the term Newfie is included? Apparently it’s no longer an insult to call someone a Newfie.

a young woman in black coat and brown tuque stands beside a block of ice that has the names of some of Canada's cities carved into it.

below: The warm temperatures were making some of the thinner pieces more fragile than usual.   The little ‘knobs’ on this replica of the Taj Mahal were barely hanging on.  Luckily the temperatures dropped enough that most of the sculptures survived.

a woman is standing behind an ice sculpture of the taj mahal.

people at the Bloor Yorkville Icefest

a girl in a bright pink jacket stands behind a podium built of ice and in front of a wall made of ice. Both have curvy lines and swirls carved into them.

an ice sculpture of a face, perhaps a man weraing a hat with a black hat band?, crowd scene in the background, a woman's face on the left side of the photo.

a ice sculpture of a mountie standing at attention and saluting, light by pink and red lights,

a young man stands behind an ice sculpture to pose for a picture, one hand up with peace sign of two fingers, a young woman is looking at him from the other side of the sculpture

a coouple stand on a set of stairs behind an ice sculpture to have their picture taken.

#blooryorkville | #icefest17

The fifth floor of the Art Gallery of Ontario is devoted to contemporary art.

Three of the present exhibits are best described as conceptual art.  Conceptual art is art where the idea is more important that the look.  The story behind the work trumps aesthetics.

This blog post has taken me many days to write as I struggle with the love hate relationship that I have with conceptual art.   My biggest complaint about conceptual art is that skill too often gets thrown out the window;  God forbid that something like artistic merit should impede the artist.  I can empathize with causes and I can support ideas without liking the end product.  In other words, just because I don’t the ‘art’ doesn’t mean I don’t “get it”.

Anyhow, on to the exhibits.

First, ‘Gustav’s Wing’ is an exhibit by Danh Vo, a man born in Vietnam but raised in Denmark.  Using his nephew as a model, Vo had a bronze of cast of the boy’s body made in six pieces.  The pieces are then arranged within a room.  “The resulting installation gives a fragmented and evocative portrait of a boy whose Danish and Vietnamese heritage echoes that of the artist, but who represents the next stage in the family’s story – that of the first-generation Danish citizen”, according to the description of the exhibit.

Looking into a white room, photo taken from the doorway, pieces of metal cast from a boy's body lie on the floor, scattered, part of an art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Close up of a metal cast of a boy's foot. Part of an art installation by Danh Vo at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Three of the metal pieces from Gustave's WIng, an art installation by Danh Vo, pieces of body cast in metal

Second, there are three totem poles by Brian Jungen entitled ‘1960’, ‘1970’, and ‘1980’.  All three were made in 2007.  The words in the artist’s statement about this piece say “The towering works recall the complex social and political tensions that can result from First Nations land claims.”  Part of the artist’s reasoning is that golf courses are manicured and their use is quite different from the way land is used by First Nations.

 

A group of women looks at an art installation of three large totem poles made of golf bags on display in an art gallery (Art Gallery of Ontario)

below: Anther piece by Brian Jungen, this one is called ‘Wieland’ and it is made of red women’s leather gloves.  It is supposed to be an upside down maple leaf, i.e. a Canadian symbol turned on its head.  When I first saw it, I saw an eagle with its wings spread but maybe that’s just me.

The words on the wall for this piece: “Its title celebrates Canadian artist Joyce Wieland (1931-1998) whose work in the 1960s and 1970s proposed a gendered patriotism in which indigenous art and culture were given only tokenistic inclusion. With Wieland, Jungen positions himself as part of and against an established narrative of Canadian art history.”

In Wieland’s opinion Canada was female I guess that that is what “gendered patriotism” means.  Otherwise, you will have to figure this one out for yourself.

Upside down rd maple leaf made of women's gloves. It also looks a bit like a large bird with outstretched wings. Part of an art installation at the art gallery of Ontario

Lastly, there is an installation by Duane Linklater.  Each garment rack is piece and they have names like “My brother-in-law, my sister” and  “The marks left behind”.  Furs of different animals such as fox and skunk hang from the garment racks.  One has an old T-shirt and one has a piece of orange fabric.   “The evocative titles of the pieces speak to family ties, articulating a sense of personal loss” according to the description of the work found on the gallery wall.

 

A woman is in a large room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, she is looking at an art installation that involves skins of dead animals hanging from garment racks. A pink picture of a woman hangs on the wall.

in an art gallery, an art installation that involves skins of dead animals hanging from garment racks. A pink picture of a woman hangs on the wall.

The two pink pictures on the wall are each a half of a portrait of a woman called Anna Mae Aquash who died in 1976. Together they form ‘Family Photograph’.  Aquash was a Miqmaq woman who was involved as a “radical activist” in the American Indian Movement of the early 1970s.  She was murdered.    If you read the description of the work on the gallery wall, you will read these words: “By including her image, Linklater expresses a sense of familial connection with Aquash and establishes a symbolic relationship with the previous generation while asserting himself in the present. ”   Pardon?

The words on the wall don’t tell you that she was murdered by her own people because they thought she was an FBI informant.  So what relationship is the artist trying to establish?  How does this even remotely lead to “asserting himself in the present”?  Sorry, but empty jargonish words leave me cold. This isn’t art.  Linklater may have a valid idea but that doesn’t make it art.

A group of people in an art gallery, they are looking at an art installation that involves skins of dead animals hanging from garment racks. Two pink picture of women hangs on the wall.

 

Canada Day 2015

There were celebrations at a number of locations around the city
including Queens Park and Yonge-Dundas Square.

A young man stands in Dundas Square in an area that has been barricaded off and also in which a large maple leaf outline in red tape has been laid down.  He is wearing a red Canada T shirt and holding a small Canadian flag.

The red outline of a maple leaf was then used to make a “living flag” of people wearing red T-shirts and white T-shirts. The crowd waited patiently behind the barricades while the organizers got their act together. Not everyone stayed on the sidelines!

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Five people pose for a photo.  They are wearing red T shirts and they are standing withing the stem of the maple leaf outline that is taped to the ground.  They are the first ones into the living flag that is trying to be made at Dundas Square as part of a Canada Day celebration

The first part of the “living flag” takes their place in the stem of the maple leaf.

 

A man holds a young girl on his shoulders while the watch a performance of New Choir, a choir that sings old rock songs, as part of a Canada Day celebration at Dundas Square.  The girl is wearing a red hat with white maple leafs on it.  There are Canadian flags hanging from the ceiling of the stage.

Listening to New Choir perform at Yonge Dundas Square

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two women are all dressed in white and sitting in poses to look like statues.  A boy is approaching them to figure them out

The back of a young girl wearing a red baseball cap and sitting on someone's shoulder as she watches an acrobat show on a stage

One of the better seats in the house! Watching the acrobatics at Queens Park.

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A woman all dressed in white is sitting still as if she's a statue.  A man, also wearing a hat, stands behind her mimicking her pose

A man is hamming it up for the camera.  He is wearing a silver and red oversized tophat and a red and white costume.  He is holding the corner of a large Canadian flag

A young girl looks a bit skeptical as she poses with four women dressed in frilly white dresses who are hamming it up for the camera.  Exaggerated facial expressions

A group of characters in red and white Canada Day costumes stop to pose with some boys.  One of the characters has a stuffed beaver that is trying to take a sip of the boy's snowcone.

It’s thirsty work being a beaver!

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Two kids sit on the sidewalk beside two men who are talking.  Yonge Street is in the background, with traffic, including an open topped double decker bus.

a red headed young man is standing on the base of a statue to get a better look at a show, the crowd is in the background.  He is all dressed in red and his Tshirt has the words I am Canadian on it

A young toddler wearing a white flower head band and a red T-shirt, and holding a Canadian flag is being held by her father

An older man in a red T shirt and a funny red and white hat is holding 2 small Canadian flags

Mayor John Tory has a small Canadian flag in his hand as he talks to people at Dundas Square on Canada day.   He's in a white T-shirt.

As I stood as part of the white of the Canadian flag, along came John Tory, also on the white team. Just out of the picture (and also in white) was Miss Teenage Toronto. (What? We have a what? I had no idea there was a Miss Teen Toronto).  Next time I’ll try harder to get a picture of her but this time I was preoccupied with being part of a flag.

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Here’s to the next 148 years!

A person in red and white Canada Day costume is on stilts with three others standing beside, in front of the parliament buildings at Queens Park