Experiencing ART: A Brief History

So lucky we were upon arrival to the Koffer Gallery at Artscape Youngplace, to learn that the Artist Howard Podeswa was on site, just as we were all about to partake in his exhibition: A Brief History.

He walked with us around the exhibit which is set up to tell the story in sections; sharing his pondering, while making these hypnotising paintings. He was kind to answer our questions and open to our feedback.

A Brief History Art Exhibition is Podeswa’s reflection on the current state of the world, articulating an end of times cosmology inspired by artistic and scientific visions such as Dante’s allegories of the afterlife and Stephen Hawking’s quantum theories.

Each piece was dark and deep with contemplation, using various shades of black, the images held with-in them very desolate, depicting war-torn or rioting times in our history of mankind. Symbols, that a person might be able to identify IF you spent the time with each piece, as I looked closer to decipher what my eyes were seeing, I considered that these painting’s could be what both Heaven and Hell look like. {Deep soulful breath taken}

Here are the two show-stopping pieces from this art exhibition “A Brief History” by Howard Podeswa:

AY-A Brief History-Howard Podeswa1

This piece, a visual of…Hell.

AY-A Brief History-Howard Podeswa2

This one is a visual of Heaven, can you tell?

Learn more: Howard Podeswa: A Brief History, Koffer Gallery

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(¸.•´ (¸ Réagan Jane ☆♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸



Experiencing ART: The Weakened Eye of Day

We were all particularly excited to see this solo exhibition by Irish artist Isabel Nolan, which is presented via a collaboration between the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Mercer Union in Toronto and the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver.

The weakened eye of day explores how light manifests as a metaphor in our thoughts, obsessions and pursuits. It takes it’s title from Thomas Hardy’s poem, The Darkling Thrush (1899), in which the sun is a dismal star drained of its force by a gloomy winter afternoon that weakens the spirit of the poet who, until interrupted by a bird singing, see’s only death in the cold winter around him.

This show certainly offers the viewer a sense of enchantment and neutralization at different parts of discernment. Offering various pieces of her expression through a wide range of media; a wall rug, the ceramic bowls “Nothing New Under The Sun” as indicators of the characterisations of planets in the Ptolemy’s geocentric cosmology. Framed text that tells the story of The Rock that does not dream and belongs to the Great Outdoors; as a person walks around this exhibit they become very aware that each piece wants to tell you something…. image2

Using the Lion as the centre piece for the exhibit, the artist symbolizes the SUN. It is clear that it all is revolving around the SUN. And I think, how true it is, that all we do as human’s, happens under the SUN!

As I am a certified western astrologer, I immediately connected to the view point conveyed and wondered, does Nolan experience any influence from astrology?  The deeper I get into this art exhibition I learn that, Nolan does approach the work with cosmologies in mind, although informally and as an amateur, she is admittedly curious.


Her objects used in this exhibit draw attention to human beings trying and failing to figure out what exactly is, our central point of existence….


The work is latent with desire to examine life from a larger point of view, challenging us to embrace both moments in current time and our stories from history, seducing us with real ideas and potential phenomena.

There appears to be an interest in abstraction and the expression there-in that, the effect of the past and what it can or will cause for the future…

{Disorder drowning everything in sight, 2015. Watercolour on canvas 23.5″ x 31.5″}

From her artist statement, it is shared that Nolan’s work looks at how aesthetic sensibilities and diverse ways of knowing, inform world views and that artworks are a search for meaning and beauty which is both necessary and absurd….

Learn more:  Artist: Isabel Nolan      Gallery: Mercer Union

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(¸.•´ (¸ Réagan Jane ☆♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸




Experiencing ART: Blue Period (Ode to Joy)

While taking in this art exhibit, a video installation played that song on repeat, the homage to Charles Schulz; to me, it sounded like something that would play in a funeral parlour. It did not sound bad, it sounded lonely and full of longing.

Artist Simon Hughes work is explicitly precise with hard edges and strong design elements yet the his concepts are full of abstraction. Upon viewing some of his paintings a person can see the images, upon closer inspection, a person can find innuendos lurking.

Simon Huges A

Simon Huges B

Plague Tree, Acrylic and collage on plywood panel, 40 x 40 inches


Simon Huges C

Simon Huges D

Exploded Museum, Acrylic and Collage on Linen over Plywood panel, 80 x 60 inches.


Then, there is his incorporation of colour tints and hues, when paired with his signature style elements, the art work transcends the “stillness” of it’s image to permeate a temperature that, if you stare too long at this art, you begin to think, you can feel it!

Simon Huges F

Cold Theory; acrylic latex, alkyd and Roll-a-tex on birch plywood panel


Simon Huges Ex2

Installation View (above)

This Blue Period Art Exhibition was really an “(Ode to Joy)”, infused through out the gallery were sounds that longed for joy and imagery that joyfully impacted the eyes both from afar and up-close, even when just sitting near it, a person could certainly want to ‘coast’ into places where joy might be found, in the warmth of the mind’s eye.

Learn more: Simon Hughes, Division Gallery Toronto





Experiencing Art: Winter Stations Design Competition 2016

Not even the torrent of Toronto winter weather can keep Art, Design and Beach lovers away from these unique installations!

This competition seeks to revitalize sections of the Beaches waterfront from Ashbridges Bay through to Kew and Balmy Beach, with public art installations that must last through the long and harsh winters of Canada.

We embarked on our exploration of these art installs on a Saturday in February that was unseasonably mild, dressing in layers and outfitting with Sun glasses; the SUN was shinning and we were red hot with excitement!

Arriving at Kew Beach, we parked the car along the street and felt the lake affect immediately. Preparing for the walk, I bundled up and thought “Jez, it’s not so cold down here!”.  Drudging along through the hardened sand, the water tides rolled in and with a gust of wind, so did the sand! Thank goodness for those sun-glasses, is all I will tell….

Here are three of the art installations that we came across in order of how we met them; you will notice many of the people in these shots are bundled for the cold but in these moments, were trying most to ward off the wind!

Winter stations art install-beaches -Victor Huynh Calvin Fung

FLOW SANDBOX by artists Victor Huynh and Calvin Fung


Winter Art Installs - beaches-Caitlind Brown-WayneGarrett LaneShordee

THE BELLY OF THE BEAR by artists Caitlind Brown, Wayne Garret and Lane Shore.

Winter Art Installs-Mark Tholen CurtisHo JungyunLee MonifaOncaCharles ReliaPark-HamidShahi-LambertStCyr-JaewonKim-JasonWong

THE STEAM CANOE by artists Mark Tholen, Curtis Ho, Jungyun Lee, Monifa Onca Charles, Reila Park, Hamid Shahi, Lambert St.Cry, Jaewon Kim and Jason Wong.

This was my favourite, it’s a sight to see and feel, its majestic in size and so believable from where it sits; symbolizing the development of Canada along millions of lakes and streams, where many cultures of people landed and turned their boats upside down and used them to create shelter.  EPIC!

This exhibit runs February 15 – March 20, 2016.

Learn more here: Winter Stations Design Competition


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(¸.•´ (¸ Réagan Jane ☆♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸





The Reminder

city streets

Live your life as you wish, embrace those chances, life’s offering you a kiss!

Keep your responsibilities handled up-right, then grant yourself permission to wander, and seek delight.

Take your time and don’t bother to hurry; savour life before the bury, before the hush makes a person stationary.

Have some fun and disband worry, living for the little things and the soul’s journey.



FullSizeRenderSuspended here if only for a time,
the cause could create concern,
instead, it will be left behind.

Suspended here and time ticks on,
visions of what's 'to come' will brew,
once this 'rational' sickness is gone.

The way it use to be,
it never really was.
An illusion, if only, just because.

The spirit is tired, 
wanting very badly to be...
FREE from all familiarity.

The End.



Experiencing Art: Focused Moments

131-Rachel Feinstein-WICKER QUEEN 1998


WICKER QUEEN 1998 – Mixed media

The Artist, Rachel Feinstein, statement about this piece: I have always been moved by melancholy, nostalgia for childhood, and the decay of time. Wicker Queen was the first time I conjured up these feelings of weakness and sadness by using the formal image of collapsing sculpture. Before that piece I would try to create a realistic image of a woman and her tears, for example. Now I felt an excitement and freedom through being able to say what I want to say but through the form only. Wicker Queen said it all but was still quite mysterious since it was not “realistic”. There was such an amazing liberation in the actual making of the form too, since it involved throwing stuff together in any which way it landed. The whole thing couldn’t be planned and that “of the moment” quality is what made the piece have more meaning than anything else I had made before.

How this ART impacted me:

Oh! the pain of real change!!!

My image has shaken itself down to the core,

this shape that exists, has got to go…

It’s a bore!

What is the new norm for my future form?

I look daily and keep busy developing a better size.

My confidence is preparing to marry with a deeper pleasure with-in,

through my commitment of everyday effort…

I am liberated from the pain of change and see exactly what I want,

arriving on the outside of me.