Glenbow Museum: Eleanor Bond
“Well, I suppose nothing is meant to last forever. We have to make room for other people. It’s a wheel. You get on, you have to go to the end. And then somebody has the same opportunity to go to the end and so on.” – Vivian Maier
Last week I joined a couple of friends for a visit to view the Vivian Maier photography exhibit at the Glenbow Museum. It was fascinating as she was a nanny living in New York and her work wasn't found until recently. She used a Leica camera to take photos of the people in the streets around her, and used reflections in mirrors and windows to create a number of interesting self-portraits. Some of her photographs were difficult for me to look at as she captured personal moments in people's lives, something that I wasn't comfortable with, though she did document what was happening around her. There were four photographs in particular that felt voyeuristic or intruding...a woman in her bra and girdle in a changing room (she captured all her skin folds which is really a testament to how we change and hide our real bodies), a disfigured man on a public telephone (on the side of his face all you could see was a hole where his ear had been), a man sleeping on a park bench (he was in a suit and coat but looked as though he wasn't in control of his situation) and finally, a woman lying on the ground being tended to by police (I think?) and surrounded by onlookers. These were really personal moments and I felt torn because it is important to document life as it is, but I don't think it should be done without a person's consent.
In any case, I also came across this large painting by Canadian artist Eleanor Bond. I've seen it in the past and it captured my attention then, but I think it captivated me even more so now that I've been working on cityscapes. I also viewed her work at the Winnipeg Art Gallery many years ago, but just made the connection again. I love the idea of creating worlds that combine cities and nature and the massive size of her substrates has always fascinated me. I remember visiting the WAG and being mesmerized by the interesting perspectives and subject matter. I have always dreamed of painting something that large, something that draws the viewer in like her work does. Maybe someday...
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