Monday, 28 May 2018

Celebrating Montréal, Part One

“It’s that combination of sophistication and funkiness that I like.”
- Leonard Cohen speaking about his hometown.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I love meandering around cities with my camera. No doubt about it – I am a city brat at heart. And I play favourites, without apology: Toronto, Sydney, New York, Montréal, Hobart, London, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Rome, and Vancouver all have very special niches in my soul.

I seem to have acquired a delightful new pattern in my life: the annual spring trip by myself for a few days of urban photography, wandering, and pondering. I love it. Mind you, I also love returning home. Part of the fun of travelling by myself is knowing when I’ll be back in my own bed with its accompanying spouse, cat, and dogs. As Spencer once said, “There need to be spaces in our togetherness.”

Last year’s spring sojourn was five days in Toronto. This year’s destination was four days in Montréal. Making the trip even sweeter was the having my hotel paid for with points. Woohoo!

My first extended visit to Montréal was in 1967 when I spent two weeks exploring EXPO 67 with a university buddy. This is one fabulous city – and the fact that its subway runs on rubber tires makes it even more delicious.

My camera, of course, went bonkers in Montréal last week, and I came home with a large number of very gratifying and exciting images. I’ll split the best into two blog entries: this week will focus on the visual arts in Montréal, while next week will look at people and architecture.


"Mahihkan" (2015) by Saskatchewan Sculptor Joe Fafard.
At McGill University's Roddick Gate on rue Sherbrooke. 
Mahihkan is the Cree word for wolf.

"Di-Octo II", (2017) wind sculpture by Anthony Howe.
Concordia University, corner of rue Mackay 
and boulevard de Maisonneuve.

"Le danger, le particulier, et l'étrange", (2016) 
by Montréal sculptor Eddy Firmin, aka Ano. 
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

"The Eye", (2010) 
by Montréal sculptor David Altmejd. 
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

"The Peony Knot", (2015) 
by French glass artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. 
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

"Escape Attempt", (2016) - front
by Québec artist Catherine Bolduc. 
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

"Escape Attempt", (2016) - rear projection
by Québec artist Catherine Bolduc. 
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

"Noh Mask of Hannya",  
Anonymous Japanese artist, Meiji Period (1868-1912). 
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

Leonard Cohen Mural (2017) by Kevin Ledo
rue Napoléon at boulevard St-Laurent
(Nine stories high)

Leonard Cohen Mural (2017) by artists of the MU collective, especially El Mac and Gene Pendon
rue Crescent near boulevard de Maisonneuve
(Twenty stories high)

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