Frog Constellation: A Love Story

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Frog Constellation: A Love Story

Frog Constellation: A Love Story

“The frog is quite powerful in our thinking. It’s one of the creatures that can go in two worlds, in the water and in the upper world, our world. . . The frog is one of my family crests, but I don’t know the family story, how that came to be one of our crests.”

James Hart, Haida Master Carver

On Sundays, the corridors of Simon Fraser University are quiet, as if at rest before the commotion of student activity that accompanies the coming of Monday mornings.  Within this momentary pause, I take the opportunity to visit the Frog Constellation that is situated in Saywell Hall, by the SFU First Nations Student Centre. I have been there many times over the years since its installation and have come to sense a silent companionship with the sculpture. The Frog Constellation tells a love story that begins when a young man cannot find his love, only to learn that the frog king has whisked her away to his domain.  A wise old man gives him the knowledge of where to dig in the earth.  Millions of frogs come from the young man’s excavation, the last one being the frog king that carries his love back to him.

Within the themes of loss and recovery, it is the search that resonates within me.  It is the wisdom of age combined with the strength of youth that brings about resolution.

Frog Constellation

Frog Constellation: A Love Story

Frog Constellation

Frog Constellation: A Love Story

Frog Constellation

Frog Constellation: A Love Story

 

James Hart is a master carver who apprenticed with the late Bill Reid.  He bears the Haida name, “7idansuu” [ee-dan-soo], as hereditary chief of the Statas Eagle Clan.

 

What do we see?

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“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”  Henry David Thoreau

I agree with Thoreau – what we see is all that really matters.  About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to photograph the work of an aspiring Vancouver artist. The title of his work was Daily Disasters.

The colours reflect the colours of Vancouver: bright flowers with blue skies and rain clouds.

 

 

 

 

The artist remains a mystery to me.  His paintings do not hang in an art gallery.  They belong to the public.

I see art, although some tell me it really is a garbage can.

 

 

 

The Lady with the Umbrella

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The day was perfect – it was raining and there was a subtle mist coming off the ground. “I’m going out,” I said as I headed towards the door, camera in hand. “The lady with the umbrella and I have an appointment.”

The first time I saw the lady with the umbrella was when I was driving past her in a car. She was standing on the grass just off the sidewalk, her umbrella stretched out as protection. I waved and promised to come by on a rainy day.

My  lady shimmered in the rain, merging quietly into the greenery. But she turned out to be Apollo, a sculpture by Bruce Voyce. I have a feeling that the umbrella is really a representation of the sun. Still, I will always think of her as my beautiful lady with the umbrella.

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Art can instill a sense of connectivity to our environment. Sculpture can interconnect the realms of art, science, nature and humanity. Public art can act as a unified gesture of permanence. Nature gently reclaims technology; the landscape is integrated with the art, and the art with the land. With these sculptures the environment becomes a theatre, creating a world of possibilities and wonder.

Bruce Voyce

Art Nouveau in Paris – Art in Action

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The first thing I noticed about Paris was its transit stations called Métropolitain (French: Métro de Paris). And there is a reason – influenced by Art Nouveau, it is art in action, a symbol of the city famous for art and culture. May 10th marks the beginning of my study of Art Nouveau. Check out chasing art.com for more stories.

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