& occasionally about other things, too...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Authors, artists, rains…

Rains didn't deter a dedicated bunch of book lovers from attending Luminato Festival’s A Literary Picnic Saturday afternoon at the Trinity Bellwood Park. A handful of people gathered around the three stages where sixty Ontario authors were scheduled to read for four hours.

By the time I reached the venue (just after noon) Shyam Selvadurai was reading from his recently-published and much-acclaimed Hungry Ghosts.

I also heard Andrew J. Borkowski read from his award winning Copernicus Avenue, and Jowita Bydlowska from Drunk Mom. Priscila Uppal read from her collection of sports poems (Summer sports poems) which she wrote during her tenure as poet-in-residence for Canadian Athletes Now Fund (CAN Fund).

At this stage, it didn't seem like it’d rain, and the organizers opened up all the three stages. I heard Mathew Tierney’s poems and before rains disrupted the readings, journalist Edward Keenan read from his latest book Some Great Idea.

Farzana Doctor was scheduled to read next, but probably didn't  I don’t think more than 10-15 authors could read.

I waited for a while, munching hot chips dipped in cheese, and getting drenched. When it didn't seem like the readings would start, I took the streetcar to the subway and then a bus to reach Harbourfront Centre to see an exhibition of art and writing at the Power Plant.

Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art “is a group of exhibition featuring the work of more than fifty Canadian and international artists and writers. It is the first exhibition to examine the work of conceptual writing, investigating the roots of the movement in the art of the 1960s and 70s and presenting contemporary examples of text-based art practices.”

Nora Burnett Abrams and Andrea Andersson of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver have curated this exhibition.

And then on my way out I saw the photo exhibition Nine Rivers City – Toronto’s Extraordinary Waterways where six contemporary Toronto photographers have captured vignettes of life around Toronto’s nine rivers. The exhibition is remarkable in size and scope and brings to life the issue of conservation of our river systems.

The exhibition was a revelation in many ways. I wasn't aware of the intricate system of waterways that exist in the city and was under the erroneous impression that Toronto is a city near a lake. Toronto's nine rivers are: Etobicoke Creek, Mimico Creek, Humber River, Don River, Highland Creek, Rouge River, Duffins Creek, Petticoat Creek, and Carruthers Creek

The participating photographers are: Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Vanessa Hussey, Surendra Lawoti, Christopher Manson, Jade Lee Portelli, and Meghan Rennie. The exhibition’s curator is Patrick Macaulay. 

In his curatorial statement, Macaulay says, “This exhibition, at first glance, is an endeavor of artistic delight, but there are also guiding principles of conservation attached to the project. By focusing on the natural beauty of the rivers, we can begin to appreciate the complicated history of the natural environment.” 

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