Thursday, December 10, 2009

On a schedule

How many days until the Olympics? And did anyone catch the bit on CTV? This morning we opened our email only to find that Peter Grainger’s piece had aired last night around the dinner hour.

A song loop served as background "Have yourself a merry little . . . " for our first crew gathering in the cafe at Westin Bayshore. Missing Erik and Becky, we handed out checks and PBZero jackets and planned our daily travel across the city to the cold studio warehouse. Here they are, Gord, Jaz, Briana and Ari, rough and ready, against the golden lobby, bedecked with sparkling evergreens. Then, a surprise: a voice mail message from the office of the Governor General of Canada, replying to our invitation with a question: what time is the opening of Ice Gate?

Forgot to mention the weather. Brilliant sunshine, arctic blast of air; the mercury hovering between minus 4 and minus 7 celsius.

Yesterday in conversation with the Western Arts Correspondent from The Globe and Mail, (Canada’s national newspaper), Gord observed that around the world, there are places where snow and ice are rarely seen. Countries, where fierce, white winters - once commonplace - are less predictable, occasional, or not at all. That in our warming world, the experience of big ice and snow is becoming precious and memorable.

He was also talking about Paintings Below Zero. Jewel-like, mysterious and beautiful, the work is also fragile, much like the planet on which we live. It’s just a matter of one degree – a slight, seemingly insignificant, silent degree, which is the difference between a thing of beauty and a big, slushy mess. The bird’s eye view from the space shuttle springs to mind, our world, spinning round and round.

"You don't have much time," Marsha Lederman said, referring to the unknowable nature of the work, the breaking, the melting. "You’re on a schedule.” And he said, “I have to be relaxed about it. The medium I’m working with is fragile and ephemeral.” As we are.

This is Erwin Mah, a very capable and intelligent gentleman who hosted us for breakfast at the gracious dining room at The Westin Bayshore upon our arrival. A good meeting, lots of exciting ideas. Now homework.

Erik Olson arrives from Calgary tonight. He and Jaz have been with us since 2006, Turin. see:

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