Don't Want To Miss A Thing? Get My Blog Posts Delivered Straight Into Your Inboxes

Monday, October 24, 2016

Going Solo At The AGO

I am thinking back fondly on this time last year during one of my last times in the city
when I treated myself to a whole entire day, all by myself, at the amazing Art Gallery Of Ontario.
(I completely forgot to share these photos & to tell you all about it, opps!)
You see, I used to go to the AGO when I was a student at OCAD,
we would get in for free
(I think it was for free anyhow, it was so long ago now, I can't 100% recall, yikes!) 
To go back there now,
after all these years, no longer a teenager (I started at OCAD when I was 17).
To stroll through, now as a full time artist myself, was really something special for me.

To take in the amazing landscapes of The Group Of Seven.
To see favorites like Lawren Harris, Tom Thomson, AJ Casson and the likes,
well how isn't that a treat!

To come across with such pure delight, I couldn't help but let out a squeal,
pieces that I actually touched, hung and handled myself during my years as a
Gallery Coordinator here in North Bay, when our small public gallery
hosted an amazing exhibition called "Antiquity Revisited"...well that was one of my favorite bits.

To bask in the beauty of Monet and Degas and still one of my favorites, Picasso...
(but to admittedly still not 100% get why some of them were/are the huge successes that they are!)

To stroll slowly in this architectural gem and have time to loop around again when I wanted too
(and wish that my Dad was there beside me to see the woodwork)...

To come across an espresso bar in this amazing space
and to momentarily revert back to my younger self,
a young girl who a) wouldn't have had the money to buy a coffee here
& b) wouldn't have had the nerve to sit alone for one
and c) think that I didn't deserve one...
to be able to easily brush those notions away and now know that
a) I can now afford coffee here and a bowl of ice cream too!
b) not feel uneasy to be by myself in the least
and c) that I sure as heck did deserve a treat!
...well that internal exchange with myself was priceless.

So I did buy myself a treat, halfway through the day, buzzing from all the art I had just seen...
I sat with no book & no distractions, just my current self & my past self for company.
I found myself smiling at my younger self and at my now self...
I found myself breathing in and out such immense gratitude for who I was than and who I am now.
And that's one of the reasons I wanted to seek out the gallery on my own...
to not only revisit the artwork but to visit with myself!

I was able to sit there & take in how far I've come
how far I've come from those 5 years that I lived in the big city,
and I wouldn't have been able to really do this, if I were in the company of anyone else,
so I hoped that my friends (who I barely get to see as it is), would understand.
I just had to trust that they would understand that at the time I was in a place where I really needed to 'check in' with myself, that it was a solo time much needed, wanted and enjoyed.

So I had my expensive, but so worth it, espresso bar treat, I re-shook off the guilt
about not inviting friends along with me during my gallery tour
and I continued on to find myself unexpectedly teary eyes in front of
'The Massacre Of The Innocents" (for as long as I wanted)
such power in those brushstrokes my goodness.

I continued on with my day of wonder,
no matter that I had seen most of these pieces many times before...
this time, like every other time felt new and impressive...
especially for a whimsical artist
to spot fun whimsical elements in sophisticated works of art...
to come across paintings by Varley felt like I was seeing an old friend,
because back as a student, I was obsessed with his work
and his brighter lighter colour palette that was and still is so refreshing to me and my own palette.

And to revisit one of my favorite parts of the whole gallery, the Henry Moore exhibition hall
was like entering a sacred space
because when the city and school and all the demands of life got to be too much for
this 17 year old who was coming from a city of 50, 000 to a city of over 2 million...
the cool muffled quietness of this hall, which always seemed empty,
the soft roundness and sturdy simplicity of this work was a calming refuge for me...
and I was delighted to find that, after all this time, it still felt that way...special, calming, rejuvenating.
If your feeling the need to self evaluate where you are in life,
if your feeling even the slightest hint of wanting to check in with how your doing.
I highly recommend seeking out a place where your old self can collide with your new self,
and hopefully, as mine was, the meeting of your two selves will be a happy and positive one XO

No comments: