I’ve been so immersed in work lately, that it’s good to have a reminder that it is indeed SPRING …

The simple exuberance of those first bright green buds on the trees, the enthusiastic (and sometimes frantic) birdsong from the bushes … makes me want to be outside much, much more than I am currently able.


A little eye candy for the day’s work, for everyone who needs to be indoors today, instead of enjoying the sunshine.









Beautiful work by Rebecca Louise Law. Would simply love to see this in person!


(images via thisiscolossal, courtesy Bikini Berlin)



Oddment #13

There’s a fair bit of debate (in some circles) about the value and validity of street art/graffiti.

Personally, I would much rather look at street art (I make the distinction between this and tagging) than a blank concrete wall or a bleak alleyway.  These pieces are (to me) delightful surprises – moments of beauty or whimsy or weirdness that I often find thought-provoking … or at the very least, they bring a bit of colour to an otherwise drab urban space.

Found this little gem in Montreal (there will be more to come from other places):

mummyfaceI would encourage you to read a recent article here, about how attitudes to street art (or urban art, if you prefer) are changing … at least a bit … in one city.

Happy Friday!

Oddment #10

goose under bridge… goosey-gander (sorry, couldn’t resist).

This lovely beast was wheat-pasted under a pedestrian footbridge in Toronto. A little the worse for wear now – mostly form some attempts at its removal – but I think I like it all the more for it.

The image is about 6 feet across, if I remember correctly. Took some time and serious paste to get it on the concrete, and the image itself is really quite beautifully rendered.

One of those moments in a day: meeting an unexpected thing that leaves a smile.

Oddment #9

Sometimes, life presents little moments of delight; if for no other reason than to remind us to really look, to pay attention to the details – because that’s where wonder lies.

When I was working on some components for the sculpture I am doing for the Silver Skate Festival, I came across this little delight:


I didn’t alter the rings in any way – this is what I saw when I cut into the branch of Caragana.

Left me smiling for the rest of the day – and I hope it does for you, too.

Oddment #3

Oddment #3 comes from downtown Calgary AB – a public art installation outside The Bow Building.

It’s a striking piece of architecture, and the work chosen for it no less so.


I took this shot from inside the sculpture – there are two doors at the base of the work that allow people to walk right through it.

An interesting perspective on the downtown skyline, and the seemingly constant construction of office towers in the core of that city.

Fires of Fear, Part 2

This past Sunday at the Silver Skate Festival was the second day of the “Fires of Fear” sculpture event.

This day was devoted to the creation of a collaborative work – one sculpture, made by all of us, to be committed to the flames on the Sunday night.

The day’s work was quite a bit more challenging than I (and my colleagues) had hoped … fact of the matter was, the weather conspired against us a bit. It turned chilly and windy on the Sunday, so we were all thoroughly bundled up against the chill, and seeking out hot coffee and soup frequently! This was happier news for the artists creating snow sculptures and for the skaters and skiers to be sure … but my hands were not terribly happy – or cooperative – in the cold. Still, there’s something to be said for adversity bringing people together – we all worked hard to get the sculpture finished early so we could take a long warm-up break before the night time burn!

For this sculpture, we took another page from the curator’s folktale narrative and created a giant wolf … in the folktale for which our sculptures were made, wolves were (logically enough) something that the villagers feared, but they were also denizens of an alternate reality, a world of magic and possibility and adventure. So, it seemed only fitting that we close the “Fires of Fear” by creating one of these lovely beasts!

And here are some photos of our day’s work, and the final, spectacular burn that night:

I feel really fortunate to have been able to participate in this wonderful event.  I worked with some lovely people, had a ridiculous amount of fun making work, and I got to play with fire!

What more could I ask??

Fires of Fear

Had an absolutely tremendous time at the Silver Skate Festival this past weekend!

Wonderful bunch of other artists to work with, and the festival itself is really quite an event – a great blend of sport and cultural events (there are events going on this week too, culminating in weekend celebrations and closing). My thanks and congrats to everyone involved in the festival – well done!

One of the things I found so inspiring about the festival was the curatorial focus we were given as participants; it’s all well and good to get a bunch of artist to make work, but having a thematic/narrative frame for our efforts really made things happen. As artists, we were actually ‘characters’ in a story,  so we were contributing to (and connecting with) the theatre and storytelling going on in other parts of the festival site.

I’ve always liked the idea of committing the things we most want to release to the transformative power of fire; such a process provides a deep level of engagement with change in so many ways. And there’s a fascination with fire and  the spectacle of it – the beauty, power, danger – that has a the capacity to draw people in that other things do not. It’s visceral, immediate on many levels simultaneously.

There’s alos something incredibly liberating about creating something that you know will be irrevocably changed/transformed shortly after its completion. I won’t say the sculptures we made were  destroyed – they weren’t, really, in the grand scheme of things. Not at all – the fire changed them tremendously on one level, but what could not be altered by the fire was the  participation by each of us in the entire process: the making, and the sharing of that making was to me the real art here.

Still – the things we did make were pretty great all on their own! I was really fascinated by the range of work produced: we each took the idea of creating an effigy of something fearful in completely different directions.

Here are some images from the Saturday “build and burn” – there were six artist-teams each producing a separate sculpture on the first day:

And then … we got to do it all again on Sunday! Part 2 to follow ….

Anticipation …

I went down to the Silver Skate Festival site this afternoon, to check out how things were developing, and to see where the fire sculptures are going to be made Saturday and Sunday.

I think it’s going to be a fantastic weekend!

There are some beautiful snow sculptures on site already, and there were artists working hard on more as I walked around – and more were coming back to the site tonight to work, when the temperature drops. (Murphy’s Law: we have a warm spell – great for me, so I don’t freeze my hands making work this weekend, but not ideal for the snow sculpture artists!)

The fire sculpture area ... there are six bundles like this, and each one will be transformed into a sculpture ... to be burned tomorrow night
The fire sculpture area … there are six bundles like this, and each one will be transformed into a sculpture … to be burned tomorrow night

I’ve had a good look at the basic materials we are being provided, and I know about the rest coming tomorrow – and it looks like what I have planned will work just fine (phew~!)

So … if you’re in Edmonton, Alberta – you should come by Hawrelak Park tomorrow and Sunday – I’ll be making a sculpture all day  on both days from 9 am  – 6pm, and then we will be setting them all alight at about 8 pm each night! Saturday all of the artists are making their own work, and on Sunday we are a single collaborative sculpture.

It’s going to be exciting!

I am hoping to get some good photos of the process (and the final conflagration) over the weekend – so if I get some good shots, you’ll see them here!

Have a great weekend (I know I will)!