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Friday, November 27, 2009

Public Sculpture: People Part 2

There's a lot of people that are immortalized in bronze or stone here in Toronto. Of course some people haven't had much to do with the city or province of Ontario. Still all of them are famous in one way or another. One piece that has had me scratching my head is of Winston Churchill located in Nathan Phillips Square. I do understand the profound effect he's had on a lot of people, and he does deserve a statue. Unfortunately I only took one picture at the time, my list is getting longer of places to revisit, and the lighting isn't the greatest.
Winston Churchill
In Queens park there is a statue of the poet Al Purdy. Apparently he was real famous, I might have read some of his works in high school. I will probably have to go find some and do a little catching up on my Canadian culture. So much to do, and so little time it seems.
Al Purdy PoetAl Purdy PoetAl Purdy Poet
At Queen and University there's a monument to Sir Adam Beck. The monument is in recognitian to his efforts and championing of hydro electric power stations all across Ontario. Of course he did much more then that. One of the many great Canadians that few school children it seems don't learn about, or pay attention to. I am speaking of myself as well.
Sir Adam Beck

On Front street, in front of the CBC building, there's a bronze sculpture of Glenn Gould. One of Canada's great musicians. The bench gets a fair bit of use in the summer, either people sitting for a break, or having pictures taken on it. The location is good because of the sun you get in the summer.
Glenn GouldGlenn GouldChilling with Glenn Gould
And yet another piece I am going to have to revisit with the new camera. I have definitely improved somewhat with my skill. At least I hope I have. Anyway, keep walking and keep learning about what you see around you.

Paladin Phil

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Public Sculpture: Wellington Street.

Well, I am trying to break this granite writers block today, so bear with me if I ramble a bit. The downtown core as I have said is full of works of art. Wellington and Front Street area is rife with them from about York st over to Blue Jay Way. I noticed that they tend to be placed in clusters for some reason. Either it's do to space issues, or lack of imagination on the planners that placed them.

There's a few around Metro Center at King st west and John street. One expansive one is in the business towers at the public entrances to the underground concourse and PATH system. The King street entrance and the Wellington entrance are similar. Stainless steel arrows in the gardens and a solitary pillar stand in the center of the grand entrance. The title of the piece is "Memoire Du Futur". As well in the planters are blocks of stone that appear to be from old buildings.
Memoire Du FuturMemoire Du FuturMemoire Du FuturMemoire Du Futur

In the park between the buildings and also bracketed by Metro Hall and Roy Thomson Hall is a grand piece that is part fountain. A grand piece must have a grand name. The title is "The Poet, The Fever Hospital". Still wondering about the title. I think it might have something to do with the hospital sheds that used to be located near there from the 1847 Irish immigration.
The Poet, The Fever HospitalThe Poet, The Fever HospitalThe Poet, The Fever HospitalThe Poet, The Fever Hospital
At the Northwest corner, a touch east actually, of John and Wellington street is group of sculptures. Not separate pieces, just part of the same one. The title is "Remembered Sustenance". Sometimes I wonder how the artists come up with names for simple pieces of work. The piece is a scattering of animals all over the lawn here. Some heads are up, others down. This will definitely be another piece I will be revisiting with my new camera. Saturday looks good.
Remembered SustenanceRemembered Sustenance 3Remembered Sustenance 4
I think I have broken enough of my block today. Still hard to get the words flowing. See you all tomorrow.

Paladin Phil

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Writers Block

I sit here looking over pictures and trying to crack this writers block I have. The late November weather isn't helping. I sit here staring outside to a view similar to this:
Low Clouds

Maybe I should focus on something like this instead:
Sun, Clouds, Fingertips

Or even perhaps this:
Aug 18-08 038

Until next time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Locations in Toronto: The Distillery District

There are all sorts of interesting areas in Toronto. Some are of the artistic style, and some are historic. Others even combine the two. One of these areas is the historic Distillery District. On the out skirts of the downtown core is where back in the day all the major distillers of liquor were situated. Since then they have moved to over locations or some have gone out of buisness. Now it's a thriving area with boutiques, art galleries, bars, and resturaunts. It's a nice place to visit and wander around on a gorgeous day. Plenty to see, and of course for me, lots of interesting photo opportunities.

I went one day last year back in August. I was of course woken up early by my friend SusieG and dragged out for an afternoon walk and exploration. She just had to go to the Distillery with Nietzsche and wanted me to come along as well. Who was I to say no? I guess you could say it was a fateful day in one sense, of course it took time for that scenario to fulfill itself. To be honest I had only been to the Distillery once, and that was late at night to a wedding reception the previous month. I didn't see that much the first time, other things taking up my attention, so I made up for it on this visit.
We parked on the south east side of the district. Reason she gave was that there was an old truck there. The last time she was there she saw a squirrel perched in the cab and wanted to see if it was still there. An old truck, a real shame that it had been left to rot in the weather and climate.
Rusting Away
Alas there was no squirrel this time. So we spent our time wandering around, checking out galleries, and such. A lot of the old buildings still stand there, with cobble stone walkways that really add to the old flavour. Most of the buildings have the outside kept up from their old original style. The interiors are of course remodeled for the different businesses. I didn't take too many interior pictures, just a lot of exterior.
Do We Want it?Hanging Shoes 1Cobblestone Laneway
I definitely loved the look and style of the area. It's one of those places you have to revisit. I can't wait for next summer to spend some time there. Anyway, the buildings were perfect for photography. And like I said previously the weather was beautiful and was obliging for some great pictures.
The Boiler HouseSun and Roof EdgeAlley Pedestrians
We wandered around and eventually needed a break and some food. With Nietzsche along it made it a little difficult. We needed a patio that was fairly dog friendly, or at least a decent fence we could attach his leash too. He was still a puppy and demanded a lot of attention. We finally settled at the Mill Street Pub. A great place and a Micro Brewery as well. I have had some of their beer and it's mighty tasty. Of course there were a few interesting sights on the way to our final decision.
IMAG0045Empty SeatsWaiting for Music
Once on the patio, it was a struggle to keep Nietzsche on the proper side. It didn't bother a bunch of birds flying around. SusieG was also a little bashful about being photographed close up. She was just "slumming", and didn't think she was good enough to be pictured. Of course I disagreed. My personal opinion mind you. I believe I have shown that picture before, so I won't post it again.
Bird on the BarrelLooking for Crumbs
(just did a quick check, and yes this blog post has some pictures from the distillery district. SusieG and Nietzsche on the Mill St. Pub patio. No need to repost the pictures here.)
I also took what I consider one of my best pictures while sitting on the patio. Nietzsche is a very friendly dog. Also very good and tolerant with young children. A lady and her child stopped by our table to say hello to Nietzsche and I acted on instinct and grabbed this shot.
Shades of Red
Instinct, sometimes you have to strike while the opportunity is there.

The fateful moment came after we left the pub. Nietzsche had found another dog to play with and SusieG and I were talking with the owner while I was taking pictures.
Dogs in Action01
Of course the conversation turned to cameras, and the gentleman gave me some pointers of what I should be looking for in my next camera. He through terms out like exposure, F stops, shutter speed, and RAW digital formats. Of course at the time it was mostly gibberish to me. I knew I needed a better camera by this time. As the above picture shows. I didn't start looking or comparing right away, it just put a bug in my mind for the future.
So that's the Distillery district. There's more to see in Toronto, and I think I have a few pictures from areas that I have travelled. If not, I will go to the areas that are interesting. Until next time, keep walking, and keep thinking.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sculptures at Night, or Things One Shouldn't Attempt.

Good morning all. Yes Let's take a look at things you shouldn't do with a cheap point and shoot camera. Mind you some of the pictures came out well when the flash was used, and they are interesting in look. Of course I don't recommend doing this often, or holding them up as good pictures. Needless to say I have revisited some of the works of art and retaken the pictures in proper light. I will probably show how they look sometime this week.

Once you open your mind to what's out and around Toronto you are literally at times stumbling across sculptures. The ones I am showing today are what I found on my way to work one night and was too impatient to go back and view them in proper daylight.
Looking at them closely I have found that even with flash, night photography brings up artifacts, and grain. I am slowly learning about this on my own now with my new camera and how to avoid it mostly if possible.

So back to my night experiment. The first piece I saw was at one of the branches of the Toronto Public Library just east of Spadina on College. It looked so cool there that I had to stop and take some pictures. A gryphon and winged lion guarded the main entrance of the street, and the details around their feet could be easy to miss if you were hurriedly passing by. I caught some of the details at that time. Believe me I have found more.
GryphonWinged LionGuardianGuardian
Even during the day they are very impressive. Just you wait and see.

I carried on my walk to work and went down University ave. I had already captured images of a few sculptures already. One I somehow missed. I was probably on the wrong side of the street when I was walking by. "Pillars of Justice" was the title and it was in front of one of many court buildings on University Avenue near Osgoode Hall. Of course I tried to take a picture. The piece was light from above and below by lights. What do I do? I used a flash of course. The meaning of the piece is the twelve members of a jury, with a missing member that's supposed to be "you". To be honest, I only read the plaque this past weekend. There's been a lot of construction and upgrades going on in the area for the past year.

Aug 16-08 009Aug 16-08 011Aug 16-08 012
I have retaken this sculpture in daylight once already. So I will give a little teaser now.
Pillars of Justice

And the last sculpture that I found that night. One of those pieces that you could literally stumble across. Tucked away off of Wellington Street in what looks like an alley way or walk way between two buildings was "Pi". If I hadn't been alert and hyped up on coffee I think I would have missed it. How do I describe it? Ummmmm, let's just go to the pictures shall we?
Cubic Head ("Pi")Cubic Head ("Pi")Cubic Head ("Pi")

So until the next time, keep your eyes open. It's amazing what you will find when walking.

Paladin Phil

Friday, November 20, 2009

2008: Public Sculpture Part 2

Having worked awhile downtown Toronto, I believe that I found most of the public works by accident. Some are easy to spot, others not so easy. I will take a look at the easy ones today. After all it's hard to miss something right on the street, big as life and twice as handsome. The King and University area has quite a few if you stop to ponder it. As I have previously shown a few here, there are a bit more as well.

For example on the other side of the Sunlife building at the corner of King and York there's a smaller bronze sculpture. Standing erect just off the street by a small water pool. It stands about my height I guess and is very sedate in look. The name of the piece is "Parent 1". I don't know if there are any others by the name, you would think so with the title.
Parent 1Parent 1Parent 1

Just down on University, at Wellington there's a large flowing piece. Made of highly polished steel it looks like. "Pas de Trois" is the name. It's rather brilliant in the full sun of the day.
Pas de TroisPas de TroisPas de Trois

On the east side of the street is an easily missed piece. It disguises and is part of a ventilation grate from a below ground parking garage. Once I learned of it and knew about it, it still took me a couple of attempts to find it. "Architectural Sculpture", the name of the piece, is very hard to see. As you can see from the pictures I took it's not that hard to miss. I will probably need to return to get some better shots of this one as well.
Architectural SculptureArchitectural SculptureArchitectural Sculpture

Finally for today is "Marlin" by Andrew Posa located at Wellington and Simcoe. Just a block west from University and a block south of King street. This piece juts up from the sidewalk on the corner, almost like the fish it's probably named for. With the name and the look that's the assumption I am making. I will one day try to find more information on the piece and creator. Alas, I have so much to keep track of I don't know if I will ever find the time.
Andrew Posa "Marlin"Andrew Posa "Marlin"Andrew Posa "Marlin"Andrew Posa "Marlin"
This weekend I think I will revisit some sites with the new camera and try to see if I can do better. Keep walking.

Paladin Phil