Monday, 16 June 2014

An Installation in the Woods

Last Saturday, my friends Holly, Fran and I went for a walk in the woods in Voyageur Park. We planned to make an installation out of found materials somewhere along the walk.

Our route took us along the edge of the river. It was very lovely in places.

We found a nice spot where there was an opening to the river and a tree that was leaning over. Holly wedged some branches upright at the base of this leaning tree using rocks and placing one of the branches in a crack in the tree. I found a piece of red plastic and placed it between the branches.

We added various found materials to the branches. I found some tin foil from an empty cigarette package that someone had tossed in the woods, and wrapped it around the branches. We also made paper loops from the package and hung them here and there.

Holly and Fran foraged for more materials by the water. There was a lot of litter - pieces of broken glass, bottle caps, a fish hook... Everything got added to our installation. Happily, the sun came out while we were working (it had been such a dull grey day until then!).

We kept adding our bits and bobs, placing more rocks, hanging, weaving things together.

As we worked, a beautiful pale white dragonfly landed on one the branches in our installation. It was like a living addition to the work. It also felt like nature sending us a sign of approval!

The final installation had a lot of colour!

Anyone walking along the path would be able to see it. We are hoping that other people will add to it.

Finally, we signed our work. F(ran) E(vlyn) H(olly). So we decided our little group was called FEH, which could stand for all sorts of things (some rather funny!)
It was a really interesting, mind-stretching and fun way to create something. We hope to be able to do this again.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Going to the National Art Gallery to see the Gustave Dore Show

The National Art Gallery in Ottawa just opened a new exhibition of the work of Gustave Dore, one of my favourite illustrators. I visited the show this evening and really enjoyed it. These very large posters hang outside the building on a wall near the entrance.

I always enjoy going into the National. Last year they underwent some major renovations but they are all finished now. It is nice to see all the windows again - they were covered over completely last summer.

I was not able to take any photographs of the work while I was inside the Dore exhibition. I will just have to recommend seeing the show, if you can. It was interesting because I always had thought of Dore as an illustrator, but this show demonstrates that he was much more. He was also a very good painter and sculptor. There were also some fascinating photographs and videos that showed his influence on film makers. Worthwhile seeing.
Anyway, although I couldn't take photos inside the show, I could take photos in the foyer and had lots of fun getting these really abstract-looking shots of the ceiling. Aren't these great patterns?

Here is another pic of the ceiling. I think the light was just perfect for taking this picture. The weather was cloudy and overcast so although this picture is in colour, it looks like it is in black-and-white. It looks like a geometric pattern - and also has this lofty, cathedral look. So I enjoyed a feast for the eyes both inside the Dore show and outside in the foyer, looking up at the ceiling.