April 21st, 2014 | No Comments »

On the weekend I caught up on uploading to Flickr the rest of my photos from my trip to Toronto in March, most of which is graffiti. Reviewing the photos reminded me of our brunch at Patria Restaurant on King Street with friends of Boris on our last weekend in town. I chose the restaurant simply because I wanted to see the incredible cross-stitch installation in person. Thank goodness the food was as amazing as the interior design.

Patria Restaurant - installation

The cross-stitch wall is done on a metal screen overlaying the background image directly on the wall. The effect is stunning and the scale of this is impressive.

Patria Restaurant - installation

Patria Restaurant - installation
Patria Restaurant - installation

Patria Restaurant - installation

The installation is a collaboration between Commute Home, artist Laura Carwardine, and Marlo Onilla of Biography Design. Watch the video below to see how they pulled this huge project together.

Making of Patria Restaurant Cross Stitch Art Installation from Henry Salonen on Vimeo.

March 20th, 2014 | Comments Off

Many years ago I worked as a photographer part-time at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto. It was an amazing opportunity to be hands-on with a very special collection of objects, and be exposed to a huge variety of beautiful things from all over the world. I was part of their early efforts to document and digitize the permanent collection, which at the time was around 10,000 objects.

The experience really broadened my knowledge of what the word “textile” means, and inspired me to explore different media beyond photography. Of course a visit to the Textile Museum was a must do while I’m in Toronto, and I was thrilled to see a collection of kimonos and obis on display.

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-4

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-2

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-8

As you can see, I took many photos while I was there. The details of the kimonos are intricate and delicate. It’s an amazing display of wearable art.

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-10

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-9

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-5

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-3

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-7

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-6

There’s a mix of embroidery, shibori, and painted details on all of these beautiful things. It’s an amazing amount of work that goes into each piece.

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-4

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-2

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada-3

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada

Kimonos at Textile Museum of Canada

It was a very inspiring visit, and I was glad to connect with a place that was such a privilege to work at when I lived in Toronto.

March 14th, 2014 | 2 Comments »

While in Toronto I’ve been venturing out to galleries every day this week, despite whatever terrible thing the weather throws our way. On Tuesday I wandered the hallways of 401 Richmond while a storm raged away outside, and yesterday I visited The Power Plant and Harbourfront Center. All are favourite places from my previous life in Toronto, so it was pleasing to see how they’ve evolved over the last ten years.

The highlight of yesterday was coming across multiple paper sculptures in Studious, a show in the Harbourfront Gallery featuring a variety of craft-based work.

Studious at Harbourfront Centre-5
Studious at Harbourfront Centre-6

Black Cloud is a massive installation of black paper and rubber or wire tubing (I’m not sure which) created by Amanda McCavour. It is magnificent, huge, and extremely inspiring to my paper-loving self. The photos don’t really do it justice, but I had to share it.

Studious at Harbourfront Centre-3

Studious at Harbourfront Centre-2
Studious at Harbourfront Centre-4

Across the gallery are three paper works by Lizz Aston. They are hand cut work, and made from dyed kozo paper. It’s hard to tell from the photos but these pieces are large and float a couple inches away from the wall. Again I found this work the exact thing that stimulates ideas in my own brain. It’s the kind of scale I hope to finally achieve in my own work this year.

Studious at Harbourfront Centre

Read more about the Studious show here.