Posts from January 2022

around and around

January 31, 2022

Lee Jae-Hyo’s eye popping sculptures crafted from discarded trees.

Laura Gilpin‘s beautiful images of the Diné (Navajo) people.

The colourful, zany world of artist, Kelly Knaga.

Yellow dress, yellow taxi cabs. Pops of colour courtesy of the great, Harry Gruyaert.

Dreamy pleated dress by 60s fashion designer, Ferdinando Sarmi.

hot doc

January 27, 2022

Between one thing and another, I never made it to the cinema in the Fall, and now that they’re shut again, it’s all I want to do. Cue Tom Keifer’s lyrics, “Don’t know what you’ve got (till it’s gone).” Daytime documentaries at the Ted Rogers Theatre are one of my great pleasures. When the theatres re-open next week –– let’s hope –– I’ll be there, popcorn in hand, watching whatever is playing. Some subjects interest me more than others. Art, fashion, Floridian octogenarians. At home, I watch a lot of drivel; sappy movies, re-runs of old sitcoms, Grey’s Anatomy and This is Us. It’s all very comforting in its predictability. So, when I go to the cinema, for 90 minutes or so, I want to be immersed in a world that I know little or nothing about. Eagle hunters in Mongolia; truffle hunters in Piedmont; people whose homes are smaller than a standard parking lot. There are never more than five or so people at the matinées, and the popcorn is better than anywhere else. And yes, I dress like Brigitte Bardot for the occasion.

the birds

January 25, 2022

These images of starlings flying in unison across a moody Danish sky are breathtaking. The series, shot by Danish photographer, Søren Solkær captures the wonder of migrating birds. “Shapes and black lines of condensation form within the swarm, resembling waves of interference or mathematical abstractions written across the horizon,” he writes. “At times the flock seems to possess the cohesive power of super fluids, changing shape in an endless flux. From geometric to organic, from solid to fluid, from matter to ethereal, from reality to dream –– an exchange in which real time ceases to exist and mythical time pervades.” Many of his images look like abstract graphite drawings, and this one is so saturated with starlings that it could be a Jackson Pollock. They really are mesmerizing.


January 24, 2022

Who could imagine Meat Loaf, Betty White and Thierry Mugler at the same farewell party. André Leon Talley no doubt ups the dress code from smart casual to white tie, arriving in swaths of jewel-toned moiré satin. Sydney Poitier wears an Armani tuxedo. Bob Saget spreads love and laughter. Meat Loaf and Betty slow dance to one of his power ballads. Does anyone else wonder whether the universe orchestrated this eclectic mix of departures?

around and around

January 21, 2022

The worktable of artist Claude Bauret Allard.

Sakiyama Takayuk’s beautifully tactile sculptures.

Jamie Okuma’s richly detailed bead work.

Hockey practice.

The Water Bearers by Jack Davison.


January 20, 2022

Somewhere over the course of the last two years, I learned to sit still. My friend, Charlotte, who as a child spent endless hours in the pews of her community church, comes by this pastime naturally. For me, the act of sitting still, staring at a wall, a cloud in the sky, a splodge of paint on the floor, has never come naturally. I fidget, I pace, I find something to do. Pick up the dry cleaning, roll out some clay, squeeze in a swim. Waiting for the gynecologist to arrive was always a test. I’d scan the walls for babies that my baby might look like. I’d scroll through my phone for unusual baby names. “Niobe?” Waiting for flights was another test. What a bore. “We are currently boarding passengers in zone one.” Fack. And what of the countless hours spent sitting outside a gym/swimming pool/dance hall/rink etc… while my children learned a new skill? I talked to more people, exchanged more life stories, highs, lows, traumas, tantrums and triumphs in these hours, than in any others. Never did I find a quiet spot to roll into a child’s pose in. These days, I would. These days, I do. “What are you doing?” my son asked me earlier as he walked in to find me sitting upright on the sofa staring at the wall. “Nothing.” Doing nothing, I have come to appreciate, is a pastime. And a worthy one, at that. Through yoga practice, I am learning to sit still for very long periods of time. My mind is rarely as still, but like clouds moving through the sky, the thoughts come, and then they go.

material matters

January 19, 2022

For a long time, I’ve thought about creating a textile made up of swatches of fabric that hold significance for me. Between boxes of richly patterned baby clothes, vintage t-shirts, old curtains, pochettes, and fabrics snapped up at markets all over the world, I could fashion a rather large wall-hanging of material memorabilia. Well, when I say, I –– what I mean is a good sewer, because I’m hopeless with a needle and thread. These beautiful pieces by Japanese-Jewish textile artist, Magumi Shauna Arai offer inspiration. Each one pays homage to the Japanese Boro tradition, (meaning “rags” or “tatters”) and combines Arai’s hand-dyed fabrics with a smorgasbord of vintage textiles. This may be another one of those creative projects that never makes it to the wall. Fun to think about though.

mon style

January 18, 2022

Unlike her Mum, who’s drawn to a kaleidoscope of colours, my daughter’s palette skews more neutral. With the exception of an occasional stripe, she has little interest in print. Frill and flounce have no place in her wardrobe. It’s hard to imagine that Iole once lived in frothy ballgowns and wore tropical fruit on her head. For years, she was a jumble sale of smocked Liberty dresses, stripy leggings, glittery shoes and ridiculously large bows. Yes, I had a lot to do with this hodgepodge aesthetic, but the flare with which she wore it, that’s all hers. And then at age seven, feathers and florals were abruptly abandoned in favour of lycra. She changed her style to fit in at a new school. Black leggings, cotton tees and oversized hoodies in various shades of cement became her uniform. And while I missed the colour and originality of her outfits, and lamented the loss of her un-self consciousness, I did appreciate this new minimalism. I also came to understand that her need to see herself mirrored in the girls around her was both natural and necessary. We are alike my daughter and I, and we share a lot of common interests; our taste in clothes could not be more different. And that’s a good thing. These days, she cringes when she sees old photos of herself in lamé leggings and a sequin bolero. “I can’t believe you let me go to school wearing that!” I don’t say a word. The sartorial journey is long. As is life. Fitting in is innate. So is standing out. Expect plenty of black, with chances of ruffles.

through the looking glass

January 17, 2022

Most glassblowers try to avoid air bubbles, but Steffen Dam embraces them. The bubbles make his aquatic specimens look more lifelike. It’s extraordinary to me that these beautiful creatures are all blown from glass. They look utterly realistic. “My jars contain nothing that exists in the ocean, my specimens are plausible but not from this world, and my flowers are still unnamed,” says Dam who trained and worked as a toolmaker before discovering glass. “My aim is to describe what’s not tangible and understandable with our everyday senses.” Dam’s creations spring entirely from his imagination, inspired by the natural history books and insect collections that he explored as a child. I find his jars series beautiful and mesmerizing.

plate and plinth

January 14, 2022

Inspired by the colours and textures of the British seaside, Greek mythology and Italian kitsch decoration, Minnie Mae Stott’s ceramics remind me of the kind of treasures one might find at a fabulous European flea market. Think vases in the shape of Corinthian columns, pearly oyster plates and candle sticks adorned with bramble berries. It’s all so charming and nostalgic. I’m particularly fond of Stott’s forget-me-not collection, maybe because it conjures images of English tea cakes served with soft, salty butter. Yum.

All rights reserved © La Parachute · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie