Skip to main content

Tuesday Night is By Donation

I have been thinking a lot about art lately. Ever since I read My Name is Asher Lev. I've been mulling over the role of the artist in society, the responsibilities of the artist (if such a thing exists), and the motivation(s) for creating art.


I went to the Vancouver Art Gallery today. I was thorough. I looked at every piece there - except for one film and half of another film piece. I even walked past the off-site exhibit on my way there and got a good look at the larger-than-life photographs.

There were a lot of photographs.


A series of photographs by Scott McFarland are mainly composites of multiple landscape photos, taken over the course of a day or a year and edited with small discrepancies - shadows pointing in different directions or a tree blooming out of season. Several could be paired together as the same scene save minute changes - the season of a particular tree, or the cloud formations in the sky.

Another exhibit showcased visual media that combined still photography and film of relatively mundane scenes. Some moments seemed to be a combination of both, where part of the image was fully still while another showed the slow motions of a relatively static film. Watching was somewhat soothing and nearly boring.

Both displays challenge the commonly held notion of photography as capturing a single moment in time and space. It also intrigued me to realize that I was able to notice that something looked not-quite-right or a little surreal, but had difficulty identifying exactly what it was that was "off" without any prompting. (The human mind is a complex thing.)


Emily Carr's charcoal drawings were lovely to behold. My two favourites are both "untitled" and a little difficult to describe.


As always, there were a handful of works that made me ask, "Really? This is art?" Perhaps if I'd had a personal and knowledgeable tour guide, their explanations would have quelled my resistance to a sheet of purple feathers or a photo of a dusty cellar corner as being worthy of the Art Gallery.


Other Assorted Art Gallery Thoughts:
  • I love visual art.
  • I need to be able to process art with others.
  • Cell phones should not be allowed to ring in art galleries.
  • People should be courteous and speak in hushed tones in art galleries. They should not crack their necks/backs/bones while sitting in a relatively quiet and communal space.

A Few Out-of-Context Quotes From Earlier in the Day:
  • "I don't know if they eat cell phones or what...but they are always buying cell phones."
  • "This is almost as awkward as being in a bathtub together."
  • "Do you want some cookie?" "No thanks." "Wow, you really did have a bad day!"

Comments

Laura J said…
it was a really good cookie.
Jill said…
sounds like it was a good time at the art gallery. i'll have to remember that Tuesday nights the time to go.

Popular posts from this blog

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.

--

8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"

--

Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.


But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…