Near the beginning of an extended walk last November, I became transfixed by a tall flapping windsock outside a bakery. I ended up taking over seventy pictures of the wind-animated figure, and each one had a different pose. It was like receiving a free art class on the topic of gesture studies!
It’s astonishing how expressive fabric can be when it composes a long tube for the body, two hollow arms, and a head with strips of black cloth for hair. The different angles of the head and arms as well as various bends in the body’s “spine” gave strong impressions of joy, fatigue, despair, sass, embarrassment, playfulness, surrender, overwhelm, triumph, and humor.
I managed to reduce the number of pictures by more than half, but I still need to ask viewers’ indulgence for the quantity of images posted here. (Sending a big thank you to Veronica Paloma for her thoughtful comments on these photos when I first posted them on Facebook last fall and for providing ideas for the titles “Bliss Float,” “Cheerleader,” and “Responding to the Latin Beat.”)
After lunch with a friend last Monday, I enjoyed a windy walk on the shore of Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park. Much to my delight, I discovered a spontaneous outdoor gallery on top of a boulder.
Anonymous artists had created a gathering of small inuksuit sculptures, and I loved how the waves had become co-artists, knocking some sculptures over and leaving others intact.Before I left the boulder gallery, I contributed an inukshuk of my own to say thank you.
Recently I offered a collage session to enrich an ESL textbook’s chapter about trash and recycling. I loved how the eleven international students in the class called on their creativity to transform magazines, leaflets, cards, calendars, old books, music scores, and stickers into individual works of art.
The workshop took place on March 19th in a sunny room in the Bluffs Gallery. On the walls, Reese de Guzman’s striking photo-collages inspired us with images from Scarborough high school yearbooks that dated from the 1920’s to the present.
Resonating with Reese’s work for the Myseum exhibit, the objective of the YEARBOOK collage workshop was to support the creation of personal collages that explored related themes, such as memory, history, identity, and loss.
All art materials were provided, but participants were also invited to bring personal photos or copies of them. Almost all of the eight attendees came prepared with an engaging assortment of photos, beautiful stationery, fabric, buttons, and even driftwood and a glue gun!
I loved the communal hum of work and conversation that continued throughout the two-hour event. Together we hunted for just the right images when somebody would call out that they needed a picture of a dog or bright colours for balloons.
By the end of the afternoon, it was uplifting to see the gorgeous variety of collages that surfaced.
Thank you Scarborough Arts and Myseum for creating the conceptual and literal space for the YEARBOOK Collage Workshop! Making art with the support of these two organizations felt both meaningful and fun.