October 17, 2007

So . . .

I’m off to Switzerland today! By way of Rome! I may be able to post here while I am away, but . . .

My exhibit opens in Switzerland October 26. I’ll be back the end of October with plenty of stories and photos!

Posted by leya at 08:28 AM

October 16, 2007

Lost & Found

I went to a dance concert Friday night. Crystal Pite. Premiere performance tour of Lost Action. The dance was unique. The dancers movements used the total body. Too often I feel modern dancers focus on arms to the loss of the torso. But here there was a repetitive, rhythmic, often jerky use of every part of the human body. The movements were constantly repeating, with variations. The repetition was to underline the ephemeral quality of dance. Just when I felt I had seen enough jerky gestures, the movements became lyrical for a while.

In the program, she says

Dance disappears almost at the moment of its manifestation. It is an extreme expression of the present: a perfect metaphor for life. Dancers sculpt space in real-time, working inside a form that is constantly in a state of vanishing. We have no artifacts. I find it strangely beautiful to be creating something that is made of us—made of our breath and blood and bones and minds. Something that is made of the space we occupy and made of the space between us. We embody both the dance and its disappearance.

I’ve often thought of the differences in art forms, how music only exists when it is heard. How writing also exists in the reading although a book “exists” to be read. With painting, the painting is there whether someone is looking at it or not and the act of looking takes less conceptual thought, perhaps, than reading. It’s something that can be glanced at, passed by, be used as background or as a piece for contemplation. I need repetition in painting because there are so many possibilities of the same combination. It’s not about vanishing, as in dance, but still, it is about embodying space and time.

Posted by leya at 12:08 PM | TrackBack

October 11, 2007

I talk, therefore I am

I’ve been going to lectures given by my friend Sean at the Public Library on Wednesdays at noon. He teaches Irish Studies at St. Mary’s University in Halifax. The lectures are part of his classes and also open to the public. So it is a mixture of the young the old and the curious. He’s talking about the culture and society of Ireland. It’s been fascinating. I’m learning about history, how it changes from different perspectives, how many different views there are of the same “event”, how “events” have many layers.

Yesterday he was talking about language: how the Irish are trying to establish identity (as distinct from the English) through the Irish language but it hasn’t taken root. He was required to study the Irish language in school but it was never spoken in his daily life. Sean read a poem in Irish to us. Then he read the translation. The Irish language is very beautiful to hear, very lyrical.

At this time, it is more the upper classes who are pushing the language, making it a more elitist experience. There are some writers who write only in Irish. Some allow translations, others don’t. But they don’t have the broad audience as not many people actually speak the language. There is even a town in Ireland that is only Irish speaking. As a result, tourists can’t find it from a map because the English name is still in print.

It made me think of Israel. How the Israelis resurrected Hebrew, once dead, now the national language. But in that situation, they were people coming from many countries to a new land. Bringing their disparate cultures and histories to form a new one.

When Aaron and I first moved to Canada, we lived a half an hour from Halifax where he was going to high school. We would spend much of the car ride into town practicing our “Canadian”. There are differences, however subtle, between Canada an the U.S. Some I’ve been able to adopt, some not. I am, after all, “from away”. Yet I do feel very Canadian, most of the time. Language is a powerful identifying marker.

Posted by leya at 03:41 PM | TrackBack

October 06, 2007

A couple of paintings

. . . from the exhibit at the Secord Gallery that didn't get photographed. The first painting is 48" x 50" (each panel is 48" x 10"), the second is 46" x 46"



Now that my studio is almost clear of finished paintings, I've been stretching and priming more canvases so I can start new work. I've been working on a four panel piece, each panel 30" square, making a total of a five foot square painting. It's harder than I expected. I want the final piece to work as one painting, not as separate panels yet they will necessarily retain their individuality. Right now the painting is mostly red. I've tried introducing a yellow panel but the yellow keeps getting less and less. As usual, we will see what happens next . . .

Posted by leya at 07:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 04, 2007

To Switzerland

Brian came over and helped me pack up my paintings last Thursday. The four (large) boxes were picked up by the shipper on Friday. On Tuesday they cleared customs in Zurich and were delivered to Halde Galerie on Wednesday. Fast!

So my plans are: I leave here on Wednesday, the 17th of October, fly to Rome, stay a week with my niece (who plays violin in the Rome Opera Orchestra), explore the area well for a week, see the opera Wozzeck by Alban Berg (I had bought the records to this opera fifty years ago—fifty! So when Ann told me it would be playing October 24, I was excited and she was so pleased to have my travel plans made around a musical offering.) From Rome, I will take a train to Zurich to be at the gallery for the 26th of October reception. This is the 5th anniversary of the opening of Halde Galerie and I am honored to be in this exhibit, along with Evelyne Brader, sculptor.

I will stay in Switzerland until the 29th. Then I'll be come home for Halloween, to go out to dinner and a movie with Yoko, our annual "let's avoid Halloween" treat.

So . . . in just two weeks, I’ll be in Rome! Not bad!

Posted by leya at 08:08 PM

October 03, 2007

More sunrise



Posted by leya at 11:06 AM | Comments (1)

October 02, 2007

Sunrise on the lake

There seems to be something special about autumn mornings:



Posted by leya at 02:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack