March 20th, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Read more about the Studious show here.
March 12th, 2014
I was really excited to pay a visit to the AGO last week as I haven’t been there in years, and long before the Gehry renovation. The building is so spectacular that it overshadowed the art a bit. The first thing Boris and I went to see was the Baroque Stair leading to the new wing, and we spent a long time looking at it from top to bottom.
These photos were taken with my iPhone so the quality isn’t great, but look at this amazing spiral staircase. It is beautiful from every angle.
Listen to this sound bite on the AGO web site about the Baroque Stair.