Sunday, September 11, 2016

You Don't Get Many Days Like This

Galeria at the AGO

Photos: September 9, 2016

Wow what a day! Full of emotion, of beauty, of joy, of strong connections.

The day started when my friend and I met up with my son at the AGO to see the Lauren Harris exhibit. My son loves art; he had done a project over 20 years ago when he was in grade six on Lauren Harris. We were both most familiar with the work he did when he was part of the Group of Seven.

An Early Lauren Harris

His early work surprised me - impressionist paintings of Toronto including a number that depicted the poverty and poor housing in the Ward district of the city, an area that was razed to make way for the newer City Hall.

Lake Superior as seen by Lauren Harris

While we were more familiar with his paintings of Canada's north, it was still inspiring to be among so many canvases and to see his development as he found his voice as an artist. This one of Lake Superior is a small example of his use of colour and light.

a quote on one of the walls:
It was an ever clearer and deeply moving experience of oneness with the spirit of the whole land. It was this spirit that dictated, guided and instructed us how the land should be painted. (Lauren Harris)
His paintings have become an iconic view of the Canadian landscape. I was so glad to have seen this exhibit.

Cabbagetown Craft Fair

My son and I parted until later and my friend and I met up with our mutual friend for lunch and then a walk through Cabbagetown and the Cabbagetown Craft Festival - many booths filled with hand made jewellery, items made of textiles, food (bottled salsas, chocolate, spice mixes...), soaps, ceramics, wood objects and more. I kept my wallet carefully zipped away from my temptation to buy. I only had a carry-on suitcase and I did not want it any heavier!

In Cabbagetown

There are some lovely buildings in Cabbagetown (we saw a sketch of the one next door to this in the Harris exhibition). The area was originally inhabited by poor Irish; in the seventies it started to be gentrified and is now quite a desirable neighbourhood, though there are also public housing projects.

Free Library

And a delightful "Little Library" - too bad I didn't have my pile of books that I am about to donate to the local library book sale.


But the highlight of the day after the wonderful beginning described above is what came next. I knew we had "general admission" tickets. My son and I waited in line to get in to Roy Thompson Hall. Once in we were directed to the section indicated on our tickets (section but not specific seat). My son noticed my sister-in-law first in the very same section (two rows ahead of where we sat). Not only were our tickets comps, but they were intentionally in the same small section as her (and the director of the film, the actors, others who had worked on the film...). This was beyond my wildest dreams. We sat there wide-eyed, practically giggling. The wonders of six degrees of separation and the internet to make this happen.

To top it off was the film, itself: A United Kingdom. Here's the trailer.

I loved the film and would recommend it to anyone. It is a true story (somewhat condensed due to the necessity of film). These were remarkable people who made history not through war and aggression but by standing up for what was right.

And to be able to hug my sister-in-law afterwards (as tears streamed down my face), to have dinner with my son afterwards and to know he had managed this for me - what a gift! It doesn't get much better than this. Sometimes the stars align.

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