Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Purse in Art - Two Examples

Public Purse - Simon Perry
Bourke Street Mall

Pigeons gather around this purse sculpture by Simon Perry. Visitors can perch on the public purse, permanently closed, and yet quite vulnerable, out in the open.

And here is The Empty Purse, a painting that can be found at the Tate. A 'moralising scene.' But one so full of rich colours and fabrics and beautiful objects. Type in "empty purse" on Google images and this is what you get today. Credit advice, ads for loans, and even a little Chaucer.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whistlejacket by Deborah Butterfield, Jasper Avenue

This is Whistlejacket by Deborah Butterfield on Jasper Avenue, Edmonton. I removed the crushed diet coke can from the jaws right before I snapped this photo. I suppose that's one way to interact with public art. The "under video surveillance" sign has been mangled somewhat, but the sculpture, made from found steel, is no worse for wear. I've long admired Butterfield's horses and have spent hours looking at this book on her. Jane Smiley says this in the intro: "I have never met a horse lover who did not gasp at the truth of Butterfield's horses."

Running errands yesterday we dropped into the coffee shop next to the sculpture. I've been asked a few times lately while shopping, where I'm from, or "are you from here?" Maybe when you spend a lot of time alone in your room you start to look like you're from somewhere else. While we were taking these shots I heard someone say in a surprised tone, tourists! That's an Edmonton thing I think. I mean, we like it here, but can't help but be surprised anyone would find much to recommend it. In fact, we're pretty hard on ourselves, so it would seem.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Notes and News

- Susan Olding, author of the extraordinary book, Pathologies: A Life in Essays, recently interviewed me for her blog Proved on the Pulses: On the Essay and its Literary Cousins.

- I'm thrilled to be leading an online workshop called The Passionate Lit-Blog through St. Peter's College, July 12-14. More information here.

- I've been thinking a lot about how blogging affects my creative process. Look for several short interviews in the upcoming months that look at the ways in which blogging inspires and enhances the creative process as well as its potential to hamper and block.

- Looking forward to heading to Calgary on the 23rd of this month for the Alberta Literary Awards Gala. My book, Calm Things, was shortlisted for the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction. Winners will be announced and awards presented at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the Hotel Arts in Calgary (119 – 12 Avenue SW) as part of The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Writers Guild of Alberta Limitless Sky Conference.

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- And lastly, why not, a fun link: Spell with flickr.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Red Beaded Purse Painting

Red Beaded Purse, by Robert Lemay

I've been bragging up the birthday gift I received from my partner, Rob, on Facebook. Couldn't resist. It's hanging to the right of my desk now (yet unframed) and it takes my breath away every time I look at it. This painting of my red purse is going to inspire me for years to come. Not only that, I think it's the perfect sidebar picture for Capacious Hold-All. You'd almost think I planned it.....

This morning I got to thinking about the power of red purses, and thought I'd pop up a few red purse related links.

I love this website called Purse Stories. Here's a link to a moving story called, A Salute to Women with Red Purses by Alice Pasupathi.

A selection of red purses at It's All in the Bag. More here. There's even a red Pantone (19-1763) change purse.

In the Japanese story of the magic purse, the purse is red.

The red purse book, Danger!

And then there's Anna Karenina's little red handbag.

I guess I missed red purse day on April 25.