Monday, June 10, 2013


I never cultivated much of an appreciation for visual art.  I took art in high school up until grade 12 but although I was solid on theory and could do a mean still life I was hopeless at designing a new picture from scratch.  Every time I tried to do so it ended up looking utterly silly - somehow my brain is good at translating real views into pictures but my imaginary views simply don't work that way.  I never have nailed down why that is exactly.  When I end up in art galleries for some reason or other I generally end up unimpressed.  There certainly are paintings that require serious talent but Voice of Fire and its ilk always made me insane.  I never managed to cultivate an appreciation for art at least partly because of my exposure to such silliness.

Sometimes though I run into a piece of art that really stuns me.  I was at the Brickworks a week ago and found a gigantic steel sculpture that incorporates plants to create a map of Toronto.  Rivers in the real city are reflected by water channels in the sculpture and green spaces are reflected by actual plants growing out of the piece.  I love it.  For one it is really a unique approach to making a city map and for two is it stealthy - you don't necessarily realize what it is at first glance.  Until I looked at the bottom and recognized the shape of the Toronto Islands I was puzzled as to what was in front of me.  This is art worth recognizing.

We wandered around the Brickworks for a few hours getting thoroughly rained on.  Sometimes it surprises me how awesome random places are around the city that I have never visited or even heard about.  I guess in my mind I know what Toronto has to offer but it practice it is chock full of people and places I have no idea about whatsoever.  Apparently it is also full of aggressive birds; while we were walking the boardwalk a red winged blackbird flew out of a tree and smashed into my head.  I was undamaged but quite shocked... perhaps I came too close to its nest due to being tall?  Hard to say.


  1. Really neat. Is that the Don Valley Parkway I'm seeing?

  2. Yep. Bloor/Danforth, Yonge Street, the highways, the rail line, are represented on there too.