Posts Tagged ‘rocks’

buildings with lots of glass, on stilts, built over the water at Ontario Place

After parts were shuttered 40 years ago, Ontario Place has re-opened to the public.  The spherical Cinesphere and the buildings that are over the water are not open but the grounds are.

below: Canadian and Ontario flags fly along the docks of the Ontario Place Marina.

flags line the walkway leading from the dome shaped cinesphere at Ontario Place,

below: Double trouble.   Hot x 2

close up photo of a small part of the side of the cinesphere building, showing the metal bars that form the exoskeleton structure of the spherical building

below: Those are some very big boats!

four or five very large yachts are moored in the harbour along Toronto's waterfront, highrises in the background

There is also a new park, Trillium Park, that has been built on the eastern end of Ontario Place.  It is 7.5 acres of green space with a 1.3 km trail (the William G. Davis trail) winding through it.

below: Trillium Park provides new angles from which to view the CN Tower and the Toronto skyline.


couple, man and woman, sitting together, on a grassy hill. The CN Tower is behind them.

below: It is also a spot from which to watch airplanes as they take off from Billy Bishop Airport.

a man in a red baseball cap sits on a rock, his bike parked beside, while watching a pOrter airlines plane take off from Billy Bishop Airport

below: Sunbathers

two people lying on a blanket on a grassy area in a park, trees in the background

below: Rock climbing

a boy stands on top of a pile of rocks, his father is beginning to climb up the rocks to reach him

purple cone head flowers

a woman sits on a rock wall, looking out over Lake ontario, there are boats on the water and a sea gull flying past

below: Water levels in Brigantine Cove, like all of Lake Ontario, are higher than usual.

an electrical plug in station stands in the water by a flooded dock at Brigantine Cove, Ontario Place, with sailboats in the background.

below: There are still some traces of the amusement park rides that were once there. There is no water in the boat ride, but the bilingual warning signs are still on the rocks. “Keep hands, arms and head inside boat. Stay seated.”

a woman standing between two rocks pretends to be riding in a boat as she points to a sign that says

below: Tbonez (urban ninja squadron) must have been to Ontario Place recently

a urban ninja squadron sticker on the side of a metal staircase that was painted brown but the paint is peeling off

below: Crochet street art, marine life, discovered clinging to the underside of a small wooden bridge.
This picture is upside down.

crocheted sea creatures clinging to the underside of a wood bridge

below: A painting of a man painting and of his shadow painting.

painting on a cylindrical building, of a man on a ladder, painting, also his shadow

below: And last, music events are held at Echo Beach, a section of Ontario Place.  The day that I was there a steady background noise from the electronic (techno?  I’m out of date on newer music genres) music permeated the park.  You couldn’t escape it.   This isn’t the best picture but I didn’t get very close – my poor head!  I was interested in the palm trees but I couldn’t get the right angle.   There are other music events happening this summer so maybe you can time your visit to coincide with music that you like!

 

Identity.  What springs to mind when you hear the word identity?  And how does that relate to art?

Let’s now take those general questions and narrow it down to the work of three artists, or photographers to be more precise: Suzy Lake, Lori Blondeau, and Shelley Niro.  I haven’t chosen those women randomly; I’m writing about them because their work is on view if you go to the Ryerson Image Centre.  Suzy Lake’s photos are on display in the main gallery inside while Lori Blondeau and Shelley Niro’s are showing outside.  The latter two were installed as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival.

below:  Three large images of the Lori Blondeau draped in red while standing on a rock adorn three of the large boulders in Devonian Square.   They are part of her “Asiniy Iskwew” work.  The title is Cree and translates to “Rock Woman”.    In this work, the rocks on which she stands refer back to Mistaseni which was a large sacred boulder that once marked a gathering place.   The Saskatchewan government dynamited it in the 1960’s to make room for a man made lake.

photograph or painting of a woman in red standing on a rock, directly onto the surface of a large rock in a shallow pool of water outside Ryerson Image Center, three large black and white photographs of people's heads are above and behind the artwork

The words on the wall say that Blondeau questions (“interrogates”) how the definitions of Indigenous identity are influenced by popular media and culture, not just in this exhibit but in the rest of her art as well.   Her point here is that pictures of strong woman run counter to how popular culture portrays Indigenous women.

photograph or painting of a woman in red standing on a rock, directly onto the surface of a large rock in a shallow pool of water

My questions – What and/or who shapes your identity?  That question can mean “Your” as in you the individual and it can mean “Your” as in some collective group that you belong to.     How does identity evolve?  Can it be changed?

How does history affect your identity?  As one who has done a lot of genealogy research I understand the importance of history to some people.  I have traced my Canadian ancestors – I know where they’re buried and I know where they lived.   For me that is a comfort.  But I also know that if you want to kill a conversation just bring up the subject of genealogy.  Not everyone is interested.

Back to photography and history –

A second indigenous woman artist is Shelley Niro whose work is titled “Battlefield of my Ancestors”.  It consists of 6 photographs that were taken in upstate New York and in southwestern Ontario.  The pictures are in the garden with the statue of Egerton Ryerson (1803 – 1880), the man who Ryerson University is named after.   He was many things including a Methodist minister, a founder of Victoria College (part of the University of Toronto), a Chief Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada, and the person who wrote a report/study on Native education (1847) that became the model for the residential schools thirty years later.

below: Ryerson standing in the greenery with a picture on either side of him.  On the left is a picture of a plaque in New York state that says: “Site of Indian village Gar-Non-De-Yo destroyed during Sullivan campaign Sept 21, 1779”.  On the right is a black and white picture of the Mohawk River in New York state.

statue of Egerton Ryerson in a small garden with shrubs and small trees. Two large photographs also in the picture, one on each side of the statue

below:  Photo taken of a rock at Cayuga Lake.

photo of a small plaque on a rock exhibited amongst shrubs and greenery outside

The plaque says:
Site of “A very pretty Indian town of ten houses” burned September 21, 1779. See page 76 “Journals of the military expedition of Major General John Sullivan” published by the state

Back a few lines I called Niro an “indigenous woman artist”.   I don’t know if she’d be comfortable with that.  Maybe yes, maybe no.   I used those words because they help to understand her work in the context of this blog.   Should I then use the description “white woman artist” to talk about the third person, Suzy Lake?

Lake’s photography career began in the 1970’s and for the first two decades was primarily concerned with female identity.  In almost all her photos, she is the subject.  The 1970’s were the days of  Women’s Lib and the rise of “Feminism” – the quest for political reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, and equal pay.  It was also a time of increased questioning of cultural norms with regard to women’s roles.  In many ways it resembled the increase of awareness of indigenous identity, rights, and problems that we see today.

large black and white photograph in a gallery, two men on top of a large frame are controlling the movements of a human puppet

 large photo in a gallery of a women dressed just in a long slip, sweeping up debris from the floor. Debris is bits and chunks of plaster that have been removed from the wall

below: Her most recent work involves pictures of her standing in an environment of some sort.  The photo is a one hour exposure and the end result is an image where only she and inanimate objects are present and in focus.  Here is “Extended Breathing in the Rivera Frescos” 2013-2014.   The painting behind her is one in a series by Mexican artist Diego Rivera at the Detroit Institute of the Arts.

three suzy lake photos, one of her in front of a mural and two are close ups of her face

colour photo of close up of a woman's face, just mouth, bottom part of nose and some cheek. She is wearing bright red lipstick

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!

 

 Planet IndigenUS is a ten day festival co-produced by the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto and the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford. It features 300 artists with dance and music performances as well as visual art exhibits at a number of venues.  One of the venues is the gallery at Harbourfront Centre where a number of artists of Anishnabe heritage are showing their work.  Two of the artists are Christian Chapman and Scott Benesiinaabandan, and a sample of their work is presented here.

 

 Screenprints by Christian Chapman

print of an evergreen forest, a text in Ashishnabe language on top of the trees, hanging on a gallery wall gaawiin wiikaa ji gwerina-ka-nawich
miskwadessi opixwanak misa oi kitimagia
miskwadessi wag dash awessiwag
ji manaadji-a-ka-ni-watch

 never turn a turtle on its back so that it is helpless
turtles and all other animals are to be accorded respect

 

print of asky with clouds in red and orange tones, a text in Ashishnabe language on top of the trees, hanging on a gallery wall gaawiin wiikaa zaagi-dandaweken
wassetchiganatikong wayti-endaian
ai anike dibadjimowin eta ga nibodwach
sa gitinacasowug

never climb out a window in your house,
traditionally, only dead people are brought out like that

***

below: ‘God Save the Queen’ by Scott Benesiinaabandan
a series of photos in which the queen is partially covered by the artist’s Solidarity Flag

In an art gallery, a series of three large photographs of a statue of Queen Victoria.  THe first picture is just the statue, the middle picture is a man starting to put a  flag over the bottom part of the statue and the third picture is the flag on the statue.  Flag is solidarity flag created by Scott Benesiinaabandan, black and blue background, red circle in the middle, yellow sun in the red circle

 

More art under another bridge over the Humber Recreational Trail, this time as the trail passes under St. Phillips Road (near Weston Rd and the 401).

Painted by Gabriel Specter and Dan Bergeron, it represents the energy of a hurricane.  Sixty years ago Hurricane Hazel was responsible for flooding of the Humber River that killed people and destroyed many homes.

below:  A purple graphic representation of a cyclone beside swirling water is the backdrop for the red slinky-like spiraling energy of the hurricane.

Mural of swirling water and a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurrican rising from the eye of the storm upwards to the underside of the road

This spiral crosses under the road and connects the two side murals.

Mural on a concrete support of a bridge over a trail.  rocks on blue, with a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurricane rising from the rocks (or ending at the rocks) and passing upwards to the under side of the road above.

part of a mural under a bridge -  a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurrican rising from the eye of the storm upwards to the underside of the road

Fourteen murals are planned along the route of the Pan Am Path, a trail that will connect Brampton to Pickering running south along the Humber River and then east along Lake Ontario.

signs along the HUmber Recreational trail indicating the name of the trail, the cycle path number that it is, the fact that it is also the Pan Am Path, and lastly a sign that says dogs must be on a leash.

UPDATED: Construction here has finished and the hoardings have been removed.  These murals no longer exist.

A couple of years ago, the city started a project to replace the water mains that run under Gerrard Street. As part of that project, a section of Allan Gardens was dug up to provide access to the underground mains.   The site was barricaded by wood hoardings.  These hoardings have since been covered by a large mural titled  ‘Nindinawemaaganidok / All My Relations’.  Twenty one artists contributed to the painting of the mural.

The north side of the wall:

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens seen from back a bit, tees, construction equipment and a couple of people are also in the picture

Four themes appear in this mural,  Community, Water, Anishnawbe Teachings and History of the Land.  Animals such as buffalo, deer, wolves, turtles, and beaver are common motifs.

part of First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens a deer with antlers stands by a pine tree.

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - animals, beaver, turtle, eagle, bird,

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - the sun shones on a person lying on the ground.

The east side of the wall:

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens, pine tree on a rock by a lake, under a full moon lit night sky

below: Sky Woman

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens, blue woman's face, she is loking at the viewer, her long hair blowing in the breeze, rocks below her

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens a leafless tree and a couple of smaller pines by a lake

part of First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens, a eagle in flight and a man.  construction equipment can be seen bei=hind

South side (along Gerrard Street):

part of First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens, a young man's breath is stylized as blue ribbons streaming from his mouth

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - a woman surrounded by circles (bubbles?) as she sits on the ground.

West side:

First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - a row of 6 men's heads seen in profile, all looking to the right, their long hair blowing away from their faces.

part of an Anishnawbe First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - a stylized eagle in bright colours in flight.

part of an Anishnawbe First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - a couple walking hand in hand beside a circle divided into quarters, one is black and one is red and a head comes out of each quadrant.

part of an Anishnawbe First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens
If construction goes according to plan, the hoardings should come down by the end of May 2015.  As to whether or not this deadline will be met is anyone’s guess.

The artists: Tannis Nielsen, Phil Cote, Natasha Naveau, Rosary Spence, Gwen Lane, Angela Malley, Judy Rheume, Gary M. Johnston, Amanda Murray, Rebecca Baird, Cotee Harper, Graham Curry, Briana Stone, Lyndsey Lickers-Nyle Johnston, Isaac Weber, Honey Smith, Shelby Rain McDonald, Paula Gonzalez-Ossa, Kalmplex, Adrion Corey Charles, Ron Razor and Steven Henderson.

Link to more information (as well as a video) about this project

I ventured out to Etobicoke because I heard that Centennial Park had a conservatory and I was curious about what was there. Taking photos of flowers and plants is not my forte but it was an interesting place to experiment with colour, texture and composition. I do not know the names of most of the plants that I saw there, and very few were labelled. There were geraniums, anthuriums (red & white), bougainvillea, bamboo, lots of different cacti and succulents, to name a few.  The photos below represent only a sample of what was growing there today. 

.

pink bouganvillea
.

blog_plant_jack
.
blog_plant_purple

.
a greenhouse room full of different kinds of cacti
.
blog_plant_hanging

.

blog_plant_group

.blog_plant_bench
.
red geraniums

.

blog_plant_new

.

green and white jagged edged leaves.

blog_plant_red

.
blog_plants_curls
.

blog_plant_tree