Monday, December 6, 2010

Eastside Culture Crawl

A pint of Guinness and a wee Jameson's with a tiny bit of ice a couple of Monday nights later... "What is my photograph doing on your cell phone?" Kiku Hawkes asks Uli. "Do you know this guy?" Uli answers with another question... and there some 30 years later am I.

Two boxes of beautifully hand tinted prints from this time and this series are produced with instruction to sit and look through them. "Oh you're just doing the Nina Raginsky thing, people said. But I wasn't --  it was about the neighbourhood!" A print I remember well of Paul Kinsella in a large stuffed chair pouring on the charm... Kitchen workers, artists, Tak Kee waitresses. It seems like only yesterday... An instant and delightful reconnection with Kiku and the neighbourhood.

At the 505 space where we had our Camerawork Graphics twentysomethings for the most part feigned interest that I was the first tenant 30 some years before and "I painted this floor! That's still the same paint!" Uh huh.... One very nice very large canvas of an Airstream...

300 studios, 400 artists, something like that. Critical mass, a lot of crafty mediocrity of course but some stunning stuff like David Robinson's bound and tortured almost comic Buddha on a horse.

Myra's pics from the Crawl:
"You look familiar -- I've seen you somewhere before. Oh, I know. Barcelona!" Jessie McNeil in her dad's studio on East Georgia showing work and there's a lot of red dots on display and I'm treated to a very welcome cup of chamomile tea. Young artists like Jessie also doing such interesting work in new media.

From the warm recently empty nest on Charles Street we walk to the WISE Hall where the people we had met just hours before in their galleries were in line with us for beers and Simon was conducting a band of people who we had also just met in their studios... "The last time I saw you", says I to Donald MacDonald," we were standing by the ocean in Prince Edward Island having a taste of Cape Breton single malt at Jim and Susie's." He was happy to hear news of Anna and baby Simone and said he saw her just last summer.