The Art of a Happy Saturday

31 July 2016 – Art comes in many forms, as you will have noticed. Saturday offered me three, any one of which would have been more than enough to colour that day very happy indeed.

Plus. Bonus. I did it all with my AGO volunteer colleague & friend, Cyndie.  Call that the Art of Friendship.

But back to the other three expressions of art.

First, the Art of Glass Sculpture.

"Blue and Purple Boat," Chihuly show, ROM

Wow, indeed. This is the art of renowned American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, now on offer in a dazzling new exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. The only prosaic thing about this particular work is its title: “Blue and Purple Boat.”

Each room in the exhibit is dark; most installations are mounted on dark reflective surfaces; the works glow, they saturate your senses.

We approach the second room, devoted to “Laguna Torcello” — a mammoth, complex installation of appropriately sinuous, underwater forms. It is laid out in a giant oval; visitors circulate around it in awe.

"Laguna Torcello," Chihuly show, ROM

Cyndie is on the other side of the oval at one point, on my side I am standing next to a young woman who, mesmerized, breathes softly, “It’s magic.” We begin to talk, to examine the Laguna together. Cyndie catches us at it, through waving tendrils.

"Laguna Torcello," Chihuly show, ROM

“Look!” says the young woman, scrutinizing some of the white-on-white elements. “A tiny manta ray.” I nod, and add, “And spiralling above it, an eel.”

"Laguna Torcello," Chihuly show, ROM

We keep exploring. Over there, a baby octopus …

"Laguna Torcello," Chihuly show, ROM

“Laguna Torcello” is not all white-on-white. It pulses with colour, as well.

"Laguna Torcello," Chihuly show, ROM

Out of that room, finally, and we spend a moment with a vertical neon installation, behind glass, that has me thinking of ganglia and brain waves. Nope. The title calls it something like “Neon Tumbleweed.” (That may even be exact. My notes fail me occasionally, as you know.)

"Neon Tumblewood" (I think), Chihuly show, ROM

Into another room, where soft floor cushions invite you to lie down & stare up at the suspended “Persian Ceiling.”  Some people just crick their necks. Cyndie & I wait for an available cushion, and plonk down flat.

"Persian Ceiling," Chihuly show, ROM

The posture brings back memories of another vivid display of overhead light, that one supplied by Mother Nature. Years and years ago, I lay on my back on a gravel driveway in Muskoka, spellbound by the Perseid Meteor Shower.

I’m promptly snapped out of my nostalgia trip by three “Fire Orange Baskets,” each a complex of baskets-within-baskets, displayed on its own table.

"Fire Orange Baskets," Chihuly show, ROM

One last upward spray before we leave, a cool-down of rich greens after all that orange.

Chihuly show, ROM

Can’t even take a stab at the name, no idea. Sorry.

So that’s the Art of Glass Sculpture. On to the Art of Café Backboards.

Cyndie & I walk next door to the Royal Conservatory of Music, duck down Philosopher’s Walk just far enough to enter the RCM by the side door that gives directly onto the ground-level café.

Where we not only enjoy very good coffee, but watch a young barista create the newest backboard display.

barista in RCM café

And then across the street to the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics. Where we limit ourselves to the gift shop, and finger some very beautiful things indeed. Yet the one objet d’art that causes me seriously to linger is located outside the doors, not within, no price tag attached.

Call it the Art of the Rock Garden.

forecourt, Gardiner Museum

Isn’t that terrific? Great undulations of form & texture & colour, either side of the walkway. I’m down on my benders, cocking my head, taking it all in from every angle.

Now, finally, I double back of the Art of Friendship. Because Cyndie took some of the Chihuly photos, and generously forwarded them to me to use here. Hurray for Cyndie.

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  1. Mary C

     /  1 August 2016

    I found Chihuly a bit overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start taking pictures! And I’m not very happy with the results. The second time I visited it, I didn’t even bother to try. I just enjoyed it. I plan to get there again soon!

  2. Glad you like Chuhili – his work was in a gallery in New Bond Street London and at one time in Kew Gardens. I so liked his work I bought yet another art book


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