Friday, February 26, 2010

Aging Art pt 2

Just an afterthought and a small indulgence, my fav Commute Home.

Aging Art

Found street side and promptly carted home on my bicycle handlebars last summer, three large rusted metal rings now hang on my white bedroom walls. Not an artist, and too broke to buy anything, I just like the crumbling burnt texture of the rust.

My Mother who knows of, and perhaps fueled, my love of all things old and beat up, passed along this article A Rough Idea from the National Post. She wonders to me, is this what all the young people are into these days?

Ferranti-Ballen talks with artist Casey McGlynn about the 'urban decay design trend', running somewhat parallel with the vintage style, with similar appeal just less kitsch. To appreciate the objects for their form and prior use value, to retain their patina and admire their wear - it's all about context. The asthetic is be found by placing the industrial next to the everyday.

I immediately think of 47. The ultimate example of salvaged design with minimal restoration, yet hidden under layers of graffiti, 47 remains true both to its industrial beginnings and its Parkdale persona. The space never apologies for itself, it simply becomes part of every exhibit which sets up home. In fact one of our recent artists Leigh-Ann Pahapill took it upon herself to uncover 47's physical past by buffing the concrete floor, revealing a site of multiple meanings.

Found in the Homes section, this article seems relevant for the design trends of today but objet trouvé sure ain't groundbreaking. The context has changed since Mutt's Fountain , and clearly we are still interested in allowing objects to be more than their initial forms. There seems to be something quite substantial in holding onto a piece of tangible history without a new application or twist. But maybe that's just the romantic in me, less interested in making new. Like Ferranti-Ballen says, people put a premium on the story, and isn't that what most objects are for us, a way to connect ourselves to a time.

Dear Art,
Rust and romance, who knew

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

lines and spaces

Dear Art,

While reading about Monica Gryzmala, (an installation artist that creates energetic drawings in gallery spaces using different types of tape) I came across a phrase used by Paul Klee:

“a line is a point taken for a walk.” How beautiful!

Here are two photographs of Gryzmala’s work.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

E.T: N.B. At the end of her installation, the work is taken down and therefore only exists in photographs and in the memory of the viewer. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

roses are red, violets are blue

Dear Art,

Today is family day. Yesterday was Valentines day. As I sat at a still and quiet 47, fluffy thoughts of love, affection and family were far from my mind. Facing Dennis Lin's no. 1-60, it was death I was thinking about, not love. As I day dream of an evening filled with cards, roses, and a home cooked dinner, staring at me is a dead tree. However much this installation wows me, and however much I enjoy it, I can not escape the feeling of being in a space that resembles a slaughterhouse – slabs of maple hanging like a fresh kill in a fading winter light.

With this in my rather morbid mind, I think back to the news of Alexander McQueen's death this week. For me, his ability to blur that fine and delicate line between art and fashion has been a powerful influence in my own struggle to successfully blend these two passions. As a part of his 1999 spring/summer collection, McQueen combined movement and mark-making with the human body, all of which are major interests of my own.

Being at 47, feeling an increasing eerie sense of death creep through my abattoir, I found time and peace within the space. Yesterday was Valentines day and yes, there was no tacky love themed show this weekend here at 47 (yet I'm sure if you wanted that you wouldn't have far to go in this city). So rather than conforming to another hallmark holiday, I instead opted to take a moment to reflect and rediscover what it is that makes me love art.

Dear Art,

I love you

Happy (belated) Valentines

Megan x

For a better look at McQueen's Spring/Summer Collection 1999, please click on the link below (about 37 seconds in).
Thank you youtube :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If a tree falls in the gallery

Last Friday afternoon as final prep occurred for n° 1-60 I was given the task of dusting each of the sixty wooden slices. While the roar of the vacuum consumed the space I spent a good hour contemplating each knot.

Later overhead at the opening, a woman states that she saw this installation as a process of renewal, transitioning from old to new and apparently giving the tree new life. For some seeing Tree as Art Object immediately lends itself to such 'green' ideas, an obvious reminder of how sacred nature should be considered. But as lively as the party got, I personally was unable to shake the darker shadows out of my perspective. Under the dim the piece as a whole evoked a skeletal, even bodily feel. As light shone through each slab, rib-like shadows appeared on the wall and a spine fell to the floor. Tree Memorial, was my take, life and death of the Maple.
There is no hint of recycling or re-purposing. Dennis presents it as it is, both polishing and disconnecting the original form. The tree itself provides its own natural documentation – the rings, which Dennis gives the viewer privy to through his meticulous cataloguing. The tree becomes a presence in the room, its felled position forcing you to imagine its past height and stature.

A week later the early evening light seeps into the gallery, lifting my initial somber view of the piece. n° 1-60 now hangs silently at the end of the day. As voices echo outside down Milkyway, passerbys having no idea that a few feet away a massive Maple rests.

Photo courtesy of Derek Flack

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Dear Art

I am an intern at 47.
I am an artist.
I've lived in Toronto for 207.5 days.

Dear Art,

Who are you?


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wish You Were Here

February begins with a ritual spring forecast from Wiarton Willie, alongside a Lunar launch, and equally as sacred, the beginning of a new Blog. Occurring almost simultaneously as the yearly rodent prediction and the gallery's new calendar, the creation of Dear Art might too reveal the future for us Interns of 47.
So it is here on Milky Way, amidst the morning-after debris of the year opener n° 1-60, that a now silent space gives home to the voice of the Interns.

Dear Art,
We'll talk soon!