What a whirlwind weekend. As you probably know, I zipped down to Saint John to attend the opening of 50 Paces: an Installation. I flew down the day of the show, and I was up at 4am to catch the recommended Airport Express for my 7am flight via Montreal.
For some strange reason, I wasn’t able to sleep on the bus or on either plane. It might have had something to do with my dire and unsatisfied need for imodium from the time I got on the plane. (For future reference, your travel kit should include at least one imodium and some advil… trust me!)
Luckily, once I arrived Sandy dropped me at his house for a rest before I was glaming myself up for the opening. My “rest” consisted of nattering with dad for a couple of hours, which was exactly what I needed… well that and imodium. (Quick tip: in a pinch apple sauce, apple juice and cranberry juice are very helpful in these situations because of their high pectin content.)
I know, I know, TMI about that and not enough about the show.
It went very well. The gallery said they had almost 400 people through the gallery that night. At the beginning, I could stand back and watch people checking the exhibit out without anyone knowing who I was. It allowed for some interesting insight into how people interpreted what they saw. Which was, for the most part, positive. The rest was either uninterested or confused. But given that everything else in the gallery were paintings and a few sculptures, this was kind of conceptual and required a bit of context to see more than just a random set of tiny photos hanging from strings across one wall.
However, once people started talking about it, things got really interesting. As with the photographers who participated, everyone had their own spin on what the key elements were – safety, relationships, neighbourhood, nature, finding joy, the rhythm of life.
Part way through the evening, Kathyrn McCarroll introduced the shows and the artists… little did I know I would have a microphone thrust upon me. After that I couldn’t be the “fly on the wall” any more. But by that point there were so many people that knew me, or knew dad, I was outed anyway.
One of the really cool parts of the evening was that on top of curating the exhibit, Peggy arranged for a little space to be set aside for some live music where dad and Sandy led a jam session. The sound of guitars, banjos and singing trickled through all the second floor of the gallery. It really brought an extra “island feel” to the whole event for me.
I have a whack of photos (big surprise), but I haven’t had a chance to process them yet. I’ll let you know when they are up on Flickr.