“It is impossible to do a thing the way I see it because the closer I get the more differently I see.” Alberto Giacometti
Vancouver Art Gallery is my “go-to” place for creative inspiration. Last year, I recorded my walk from the Vancouver Seawall by Cambie Bridge to the Art Galley located in Vancouver Centre. I wanted to document my visit to an extraordinary exhibition: Alberto Giacometti – a line through time.
Alberto Giacometti is considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, which was dramatically evidenced by this extraordinary exhibition. Influenced by the Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism movements, his work was a search into the human condition.
“All the sculptures of today, like those of the past, will end one day in pieces… So it is important to fashion ones work carefully in its smallest recess and charge every particle of matter with life.” Alberto Giacometti
“Once the object has been constructed, I have a tendency to discover in it, transformed and displaced, images, impressions, facts which have deeply moved me.” Alberto Giacometti
Please join me on my walk to the Vancouver Art Gallery. For more photos check out my SmugMug portfolio link: Alberto Giacometti
“Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.”
Sleep is our best friend, bringing us the gifts of good health and well-being and allowing us to live our best life. In our joy of being awake, we cannot forget that sleep allows us many benefits. Even the ancients knew that “Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.”
After a restful night’s sleep, our decisions are more in-tune, our learning improves as does our memory and physical reflexes. We pay attention to our environment and our emotional state is more relaxed. Our world view is enhanced and with it our creativity. Sleep is our best friend.
Last fall, I met the Moss Lady in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, British Columbia. She came to life in 2015 and was inspired by the Mud Maid in Cornwall’s Lost Garden of Heligan. Artist Dale Doebert worked with the Victoria City park team to create the elegant 35-feet-long Moss Lady, using boulders, pipes, cement and wire. She rests serenely under a specially designed clay-based acidic soil so moss can cloak her while she sleeps.
You are welcome to join me on the path to visit the Moss Lady. May we embrace the gift of sleep in the same spirit as this gracious lady.
Tonight, as the twilight closes in on November 11th, Remembrance Day, I think of my Father who was one who came back from WWII. The day he left home for the first time, in a soldier’s uniform at 18 years of age, he remembered hearing his mother playing a hymn on the piano as he walked down the road. There was no certainty, only a knowledge that life was precious.
Earlier this year, I traveled to St. John’s Newfoundland. It was a place that has always been on my “to visit” list ever since I studied the map of Canada in my early grades. Bannerman Park in St. John’s holds a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment soldiers and their families.
“The Homecoming” brings to mind both joy and sorrow, and the need to come together as a community.
“It’s passing on the torch to the next generation.” Sculptor Morgan MacDonald
Vancouver winters and early springs bring an abundance of rain, with heavy clouds surrounding our mountains. The wind is brisk, but not cold, and there is an invigorating moisture in the air. When I leave home, I contemplate whether I should take an umbrella or not. The day that I first discovered what I now call, The Art Road along the Vancouver Seawall, I chose my camera over umbrella.
It was a good decision…
The Vancouver Seawall from Cambie Bridge to Olympic Village had been turned into a mural extravaganza, seemingly overnight. The City of Vancouver and BC Housing created an innovative way to use art to conceal construction work. Even more exciting, they featured artwork by grade 6 and 7 students from the False Creek Elementary School.
Look closely at the artwork embedded with stories and symbolism.
An inukshuk, a landmark built for use by the Inuit, recognizing the diversity of cultural heritages.
A salmon in flight, signifying our responsibility to the environment.
Our water taxi, Aquabus, with mountains and the Burrard bridge in the background, representing the roads and waterways that connect our communities.
The Vancouver Skyline, a reminder that our city is growing and evolving.
The Canadian Flag, celebrating our great nation.
The Peace Symbol, accepting our responsibility to our global community.
Children have the power to transform our world, even at a young age. May we celebrate their work and validate their creative spirit. Remember Pablo Picasso’s mother:
“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”
There is a possibility that we may have passed in the street without knowing that we had somehow connected through your artistic endeavour. Yes, it is your mural that appeared overnight along a path that runs under a bridge, leading to a busy street. The one with the brilliant sun shining over a tree, three tulips, a flowering shrub.
I was in a hurry to complete a scheduled task. Until…
The spreading branches, with fresh leaves called to me. There was an enveloping warmth, a feeling of renewal, the arrival of spring.
You reminded me that we live in a beautiful world of light and colour. Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the souls the dust of everyday life.” Your mural exemplifies this idea.
Looking back, I have no recollection of the “urgent” task. Instead, I have a memory (and photos) of the moment I spent with you via your art.
Wherever you are, whatever you do, I know that you will accomplish great things.
Christmas Eve has arrived. The streets are less crowded as people gather in homes to celebrate this special season. Walking home via the Vancouver Seawall, my husband and I came across a lone artist working with absolute focus on a complex Christmas tree labyrinth of brightly coloured chalk against a large open walkway in Olympic Village. Without doubt, it is a labour of love, a gift to our community.
The definition of labyrinth is a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way. Walking the maze – I couldn’t resist the challenge – was a reminder that we experience complexity and ambiguity. Many times, we face crossroads and competing alternatives that shroud the road ahead. And yet, it is the challenge that makes life interesting, the moments meaningful. Time passes, new opportunities arise.
As we look forward to 2019, may we embrace the labyrinths that come our way.