I seem often to hear people questioning the attraction of Nuit Blanche.
For me there are two main strands.
One is a kind of sensory re-awakening. Each year there are many weird and wonderful happenings and just one or two pieces that really engage me at a deeper level, staying with me. But the overall impact heightens my experience of the everyday – leaves in water, light and shadow penetrating our home courtesy of a street light as we open the front door to a darkened room. It reminds me to see, to hear, to notice.
The other is the incredible openness of the crowd – a glorious diversity united in an ability to connect with childlike delight.
Yesterday was one of those glorious days that nourish you to the core. Our first snowfall – really just a long flurry of motes mixed with the occasional feather dusting the ground – then blue skies; The AGO – Henry Moore (early works, full of the anguish of his response to his war-time experiences) and the Maharajas (fabulous, especially the Rolls Royce and the tabla player and Kathac dancer; too many pancakes (crepes) with delectable fillings (we ate the sweet followed by the savoury!); then on to Nathan Phillips Square for our first skate of the season, this year’s sole Cavalcade of Lights (the square is being refurbished) to launch the Christmas season, with live music, the lighting of the tree and some of the best fireworks I’ve ever seen – City Hall is a fabulous backdrop, the window reflections augmenting the show.
This was also the occasion of our first skate in Canada last year and looks set to be an enduring tradition – I felt the total pleasure and wonder of a six year old for much of the day – what a great start to Christmas!
Keppel Croft is an amazing, inspirational garden between Owen Sound and Wiarton on the shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario. It is filled with wonderful planting, art installations and, most of all, spirit.( Below is a slide show created from our photos.)
‘What is this place?’ This was the question posed by Art of the Danforth during the last week of April.
Organized by an independent group of locally based individuals, this new community art walk between Greenwood and Woodbine is rooted in a belief in the power of art to cut across divisions and draw people together.
East Danforth’s population includes an above average percentage of artists and Art of the Danforth certainly showcased some amazing talent. But it also provided a potent reminder that creativity and art belong to all of us.
(Excerpt from an article I have just written for Local Magazine)
We have both been very involved in Art of the Danforth as volunteers since November – it’s been fabulous to be part of something like this that really is conducive to neighbourhood regeneration through the arts. And we’ve met so many amazing people!
With the art walk looming at the end of the month, we seem to have fingers in lots of lovely pies! Looking at the Art of the Danforth site, I’m increasingly excited at being involved in what I think is going to be a wonderful coming together of creativity and community.
We have both contributed a set of photos for the photo mosaic. This was a great excuse to change the lens through which we were viewing our surroundings, focusing most on colour (we were asked for sets of predominantly red, blue, green and yellow shots). We spent an absorbing sunny morning drifting down the Danforth, welcoming the warmth after an earlier chilly sunset session the night before. Paul hasn’t got around to this yet, but I have uploaded some of my shots to Flickr. Tonight we are going to help sort and trim the mounds of photos submitted in preparation for assembling the mosaic.
On Sunday I’m going to take notes from the history group to go alongside some wonderful old photos – what a great way to become rooted in our new surroundings! We are so lucky to be part of this.
UPDATE (April 27):
The speeches from the formal launch of the first Art of the Danforth on Saturday April 24, 2010 – all the indications are that the event really is creating a sense of energy and enthusiasm along the strip! (I’ll post a proper report after the event).