Images courtesy (clockwise from top left): Contemporary Textile Studio Co-Op website, Contrabotanic on Instagram, Ecoman.ca blog, Monica Tap website. Links listed below.
Bonjour mes amis!
This past Thursday I headed to a lovely event at the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-Op at 401 Richmond in downtown Toronto. Salon Soiree: an evening of inspiration and conversation with creative people, on the theme of Landscape. That’s pretty much all I knew about it when I arrived. I wasn’t sure what to expect and therefore wasn’t disappointed – it was great! A very small group of curious artsy folks and three inspiring presentations can’t go wrong – the only thing left feeling unsatiated was my curiosity about who were all these other fine-lookin’ people in the room with me. I struck up some conversations about surface pattern design, hand-painting techniques and 100mile mittens – my kind of talk! But it would have been great as it was such a small group to have had the chance to do a round of introductions and a more in depth discussion of the presentations.
The first presenter, Monica Tap, spoke about her paintings of video stills and photographs of landscapes including the Hudson River and the Santiago de Compostela trail in Spain. A highlight for me were the large paintings of the forests alongside the trails. The black and white paintings are in the style of old master etchings and reference a stretch of the trail she later discovered was a site of execution of prisoners during the Spanish Civil war. http://www.monicatap.com/artwork/paseo-i-2014.html
Jonas Spring was the next presenter, a man in a mighty fine Harris tweed coat and a bowtie handmade by his wife. He excitedly spoke of being a Cultivator of Stewardship of the land in Toronto, with his landscape design and maintenance company, Ecoman. http://www.ecoman.ca. Also an artist, his projects celebrate the banal in our relationships with nature, including a series wherein he documents the circular path worn by a man doing repetitive tai chi around a Norway Maple outside a hockey arena. http://ecoman.ca/footsteps/
The final presenter was Amanda Perumal of Contra Botanic, a one-person studio (two if she hires her mom!) making adorable hand-felted succulents. Impossible to resist, impossible to kill with accidental plant-neglect or just being really crappy at plant care. https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/contrabotanic and http://www.instagram.com/contrabotanic
Thank you folks at Contemporary Textile Studio Co-Op (http://www.textilestudio.ca/) and organizer Kate Austin for such a great event!