Wednesday 29 July 2015

Airport Art

On my recent trip to the US and Canada, I welcomed the chance to spend some time with some airport art on arrival and departure!

At Chicago's O'Hare airport I was delighted to use this moving walkway, the installation of changing lights, "Sky's the Limit" by Michael Hayden, making it a great experience. I used this walkway on a previous visit to the US, but couldn't figure out where it had gotten to on my last visit. Turns out I wasn't flying United on my last visit and O'Hare is a big airport - this walkway is for traffic between two sections of United Airways terminal.

I had a few hours between flights so I was in no hurry, and enjoyed going back and forth on the moving walkway.

The first time I encountered this installation, I could hear Brian Eno music and thought it was part of the installation, but this time jazz was playing.

At Toronto's Pearson International Airport this Richard Serra sculpture, "Tilted Spheres", is another pleasant experience.

Again, I had a few hours to spare, waiting for my flight, so I got to engage with the acoustics -- sound is amplified so that people beyond the sculpture can hear what people within the sculpture are saying (or, as when walking under a bridge, barking...)

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Iowa City Sculpture

I was in Iowa City the last week of June for my husband's family reunion.  Downtown Iowa is a beautiful city, pedestrian friendly, and has a lot of public sculpture to enjoy. This bronze sculpture by Jane DeDecker suits its environs perfectly -- most often when I passed it there were children playing in its vicinity. 

Another bronze sculpture, Jazz, is by Gary Alsum. I think the vibrancy of jazz is well caught in this work.

There are quite a few abstract sculptures in the pedestrian zone too.

I particularly like this wiry tornado. (Oops forgot to record the accrediting plaques for these works.)

I was too busy looking at the map depicted and reading the pirate-like inscription to realise at first that this was a book.

A few steps had my understanding sorted out. I like the idea that you could be sitting on a bench reading under the silent stare of a giant book.

Outside the pedestrian zone, I came across this series of sculptures inlaid into the footpath. 

It's difficult to tell, but the grey arcs are sentences - letters depressed into the footpath.

 I am not sure if the author is a well-known Iowa poet, but by the language it is not a modern poem.

I like this bronze depiction of sheet music and that the artist is using an aural art form visually.

I was unable to find the credits, so I don't know if the bronze pieces are done by the same artist who did the arc lettering, or indeed if all the pieces are done by separate individuals in collaboration. In any case, they were all delightful to come across!

Most events for the reunion took place at the Grant Wood historic home, owned by my husband's uncle. In 2005 my husband, James Hayes was commissioned to create the bronze sculpture, entitled Ball, for the fountain in the upper garden.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Art Gallery of Ontario

I was in Toronto recently and took the opportunity to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario to see some work that was on my wish list. The exhibition From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia was first shown in London last year at the Dulwich Gallery, but as I knew I'd be in Toronto this summer I looked forward to seeing it in the Canadian setting. Carr's paintings were well complemented by artefacts from the First Nations which inspired much of her work and it was a joy to see them together.

I prefer Carr's looser work on paper, but the installation view gives an idea of the scale at which she was working.

I can't remember whether or not this is one of Carr's experimental gasoline paintings, several of which were in the show (paintings on paper where gasoline was used as a medium for the paint!), but it is a good example of her looser painting style.

While at the AGO, I was delighted to also see a special exhibit of a pair of paintings by Tom Thompson. The Jack Pine, according to the gallery didactic, was the painting found on Thompson's easel at the time of his mysterious death in 1917.

The West Wind, another iconic Thompson painting, is also dated 1917.

The Thompson exhibit also included the sketches/small paintings of these works. While I did "exit through the gift shop", I also found my way into a room full of another Canadian painter's work. I have always liked David Milne's dry brush drawing/paintings so it was lovely to see a whole room full of them.

I did not have time to do any further explorations that afternoon at the art gallery, but it was inspirational to see the work of these three great Canadian painters.