Now You See It, Now You Don't.

At noon and 9 p.m. daily, a giant chandelier descends from under the Granville Bridge in Vancouver. It lights up, spins for two minutes, and tucks itself back into the underbelly of the bridge again.

Why?

Does art need a reason?

Designed by B.C. artist, Rodney Graham, the public art piece is almost eight metres high, and is made of stainless steel, LED lamps, and six hundred faux crystals.

The hefty price tag for the piece is raising some eyebrows—$4.8 million.

Does a city with dealing with skyrocketing real estate prices and the resultant housing crisis need a gigantic chandelier?

Does any city?

Yes. Any city. Every city.

We all need more in our lives than food and board. We need life in our life, fun in our day, and something spectacular just around the corner.

To the naysayers, might I point out that the city did not pay for this Phantom of the Opera installation. Obligated by a city bylaw to provide a public art piece as part of their Vancouver House project, Westbank, the property developer, commissioned and covered the cost of the chandelier.

Yes, the installment has stirred up controversy.

It has also become so popular, that another spin cycle has been added. The chandelier now whirls three times a day, at noon, at 4 p.m., and at 9 p.m.

Next time I’m in Vancouver, I’m taking a peek under the bridge 🙂

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One Kwe

Not up on your Ojibwe? Neither am I 🙂

One Kwe, or One Woman, is the name of Kathryn Corbiere’s metal shop in M’Chigeeng, Manitoulin Island.

One Woman…

It resonates, doesn’t it? One woman against the world, brave, and strong, and … well, you get the idea.

It’s a great name, both aesthetically pleasing and accurate, in that Kathryn is a one woman show. She runs her own business, creating and selling modern furniture and art.

One of Kathryn’s art pieces, created in consultation with Pride Manitoulin’s youth group, now hangs in the Objibwe Cultural Foundation. A modern take on the traditional dream catcher, and incorporating LGBT symbolism in its triangular shape and the pride colours worked into the hanging metal feathers, the piece includes three Objibwe words worked into its base—

Respect Love Courage

Like many of us, Kathryn ended up on this particular path because the one she originally started out on turned into a dead end. Unable to find work as a welder, she took her training, and her artistic talent, and tried something else.

Kathryn’s secret to success, “You have to be willing to try.”

Oh, you mean, get off the couch and turn off Netflix?

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Chickenshit.

I’m confrontation averse mostly because I’m not very good at it. Assertive isn’t really part of my DNA.

I tell myself that I’m cursed with the nice gene, but nah, I’m just chickenshit. Words have been falling out of my face for years, but when I need to step up and speak up — silence.

Recently, I escaped the rain by ducking into a small art shop. One of the pieces was all light, bright colour and I pulled out my VISA card. The painting came off the wall, the shop owner set it aside as he looked for wrapping — the piece looked totally different leaning against a desk than it had under the track lighting on the wall. The colours that had been clear and sunny were now muddy and dark.

green painting (2)

Did I say anything? Did I speak up? I think we all know the answer to that.

I now own a painting that could be pretty, but isn’t because I’d have to repaint and rewire to do it justice and, yeah, not happening.

On the other hand, I made the shop owner pretty damn happy 🙂

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