Photography by Riley Stewart
Fashion styling by Georgia Groom
Prop styling by James Reiger
The dining room at Turville Grange is lined with Sicilian scarves. A country manor in south east England, it was the home of the late Princess Lee Radziwill, an interior decorator and Jacqueline Kennedy’s younger sister. The gossamer silk, covered in hand-painted pastel flowers, is delicate enough to wrap around the most regal of necks, yet it’s affixed to the walls like the world’s dreamiest wallpaper.
“Lee was pretty special,” says Colette van den Thillart, a Toronto-based interior designer and an acquaintance of Radziwill before she died in 2019. “She had amazing taste. I see [Turville Grange] posted on Instagram almost weekly.” Radziwill bought the property in 1966 and renovated it with the help of Italian architect Lorenzo Mongiardino. Over 50 years later, images of her home, often snapped by legendary photographer Horst P. Horst, still resonate because of their arresting sense of escape.
These days, when people have so few opportunities to dress up and go out, let alone experience new interiors beyond their own quarantine quarters, few things seem more whimsical, more diversionary than a space that is equal parts fashion statement and decor innovation. It’s never been more timely to outfit a room in a way that replicates the joy of being swathed in fine clothing and accessories.
High fashion and sumptuous interiors have a long, intertwined history. For 130 years, Maison Lesage, a Parisian embroidery atelier, has beaded couture garments for Chanel, Dior and other top design houses, while also embellishing luxurious drapery and upholstery for Europe’s most aristocratic salons and parlours. Likewise, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Gucci all focus on fashion but dabble in furniture and decor. “During Art Nouveau, architect interior designer Henry van de Velde created dresses so his clients could match their rooms,” says Dr. Cameron Macdonell, assistant professor at Ryerson University’s School of Interior Design. “There are similar examples of interiors and fashion influencing one another in the Arts & Crafts movement and art deco.”
Infusing fashion into your homes like Radziwill did isn’t always as effortless as it should look. “I think it’s complicated, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” says van den Thillart. “Perhaps not your beige sweater. And antique kimonos have been framed and hung to the point of cliché. But many fashion items are, to me, nothing short of wearable art.” She points to designers such as Philip Colbert and Schiaparelli, whose pieces – Andy Warhol-inspired dresses, hats shaped like shoes – can be showcased in a living area like any canvas or sculpture.
Before investing thousands into a vintage surrealist accessory, the most logical, risk-free place to start experimenting with fashion-cum-decor might be a dressing room or walk-in wardrobe. “At home this summer, so hungry was I for travel and joy that I hung my entire closet with summer kaftans, dresses and kimonos,” says van den Thillart. “It created the feeling of a tented room, which was ever so cheering given all that we are facing right now.”
Fanning out into the rest of the home, there are no real limits beyond our own imaginations and how well the piece fits into its surroundings. “Even a toothbrush can look good sitting out on a counter, if it’s a nice, well-designed toothbrush,” says Clea Shearer, co-host of the Netflix show Get Organized with the Home Edit. “When you’re shopping, why not be selective and go for objects that you actually like to look at? When you have a product with a beautiful form, no matter its function, there’s no reason you can’t display it in your home.”
Benedetta Bruzziches clutch, available at WDLT117 (wdlt117.com).
Rosantica globe bag, available at The Room at Hudson’s Bay (thebay.com).
Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection bangles, available through caroletanenbaum.com. Scarf, available at Hermès (hermes.com).
Jewels by Alan Anderson insect brooches, available through jewelsbyalananderson.com.
From left to right: Kara mini bag, available at The Room at Hudson’s Bay (thebay.com). Strathberry mini bag, Burberry mini bag, both available at Nordstrom (nordstrom.ca). Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection purse, available through caroletanenbaum.com.
Clockwise from top left: Indress feather brooch, available at Gaspard (gaspardshop.com). Oscar de la Renta bangle and necklace, both available at Nordstrom (nordstrom.ca). Ora-C rings and comb, all available through ora-c.com. Aesa candleholder (top right), available at Ewanika (ewanika.ca).
Bag, available at Fendi (fendi.com).
Spoon, ring (around chopsticks), scarf and bangle, all available at Hermès (hermes.com). Sterling silver “tin” can and necklace, both available at Tiffany & Co. (tiffany.ca). Faris Earrings (top left), available at Fawn Boutique (shopfawn.com).
Clockwise from top left: Kara bag, available at The Room at Hudson’s Bay (thebay.com). Off-White bag, available at Nordstrom (nordstrom.ca). Blanket, available at Hermès (hermes.com). Mansur Gavriel bag, available at Nordstrom.
Michelle Ross necklace (on picture frame), available through mnross.com. Mirit Weinstock earrings (on console, left), available at Ewanika (ewanika.ca). Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection bag (on console, centre), available through caroletanenbaum.com. Quarry cuff (on console, right) available at Fawn (shopfawn.com). Baba Tree fan (on console shelf), available through goodeeworld.com. Blanket, available at Hermès (hermes.com).
Ora-C earrings, available through ora-c.com.
Photographed at The Wartime Bunker in Toronto (@thewartimebunker on Instagram).
This Is How Performance Art, Robotics And Electronic Sound Offer A Dialogue On Man And Machine – Forbes
Man and machine have long shared a complex rapport. Yet, understanding our relation to the world and one another largely depends on an insight into the dynamics between humanity and technology. This is especially so as we tentatively navigate the fear and anxiety, wonder and potential of machine science and the information age.
This essentially is the concept behind “No One is an Island”. Instigated by BMW Group Cultural Engagement – the car company’s arm which supports arts and ideas – this ambitions projects brings together contemporary art and dance, electronic sound and new technology in a dynamic performance. It forms a provocative narrative on how current and future generations interact with automated and digitized processes and environments while embracing sustainability. The art piece investigates the human mind’s empathy with artificial intelligence and automated processes.
“No One is an Island” is a collaboration between the celebrated dance choreographer Wayne McGregor and experimental art studios Random International and Superblue while being informed by the BMW i electric-drive technology. In a multi-media format, electrified movements steered by advanced algorithms are explored through a combination of art and sculpture, music and live performance. Pablo Picasso’s light drawings, for instance, inspire the dancers to form lines of light – visually capturing movement and electricity to symbolize the power that runs through the BMW i.
At the center of the performance is the robotic sculpture – all machine and with no human elements. The idea here is to visualize how a minimal amount of information can animate form to be recognized as human, while the most subtle of changes in information can equally have a fundamental impact. The sculpture’s transitions from robot to human likeness are accompanied by interventions from Studio Wayne McGregor. Here, the dancers in turn interact with the kinetics, further exploring the relationship between humans and technology and our capacity to empathize with a machine. All this is performed to the soundscape of Tokyo electronic music artist Chihei Hatakeyama.
“We all come together from different knowledge sets, but convene in areas of shared interest,” says McGregor referring to the various teams who have collaborated on this project, including BMW. “We are all fascinated by the potential of the human body, its relationship with – and to – technology but most importantly our desire to generate empathetic connections between people. This is a dialogue of inter-connectedness, exploration and surprise. We have no pre-determined road map – instead, we feed from one another’s expertise and ideas to push ourselves towards new horizons.”
As a collaborative studio for experimental practice in contemporary art, Random has been investigating this topic for some time. One of the founders and directors Hannes Koch feels it is essential to understand the lesser-known territories of “empathy with machines,” she says. “This work is part of a wider reflection on our human need to relate to our surroundings; how does such a need to connect play out in light of an increasing automation and digitization of our environment? Will our willingness to engage with unknown systems leave us more vulnerable?”
Art may not seem the most natural way to set about understanding such complex issues as our relation to AI and automation, yet as the actor and writer Stephen Fry so nicely puts it, “the secret of life can be found in books and art”.
“No One is an Island” was performed live to a small group as the London lockdowns were temporary lifted during the pandemic. A series of digital and live performances are now planned for 2021. See this link for updates on when this will take place.
See the provocative shortlist for the Rolls-Royce 2021 Dream Commission for moving art; read why brands could benefit from supporting the arts; take a sour of Rolls-Royce’s art commissions of celebrated contemporary artists Refik Anadol, Tomás Saraceno and Rankin.
Language and art: new online program launches at the Ellen Art Gallery – Concordia University News
The Ellen Art Gallery recently launched a new semi-annual, online program. Each instalment of Terms will investigate the manifold meanings of a given word. The program is tripartite, featuring three components.
For the first component, the selected term will be explored in a short essay by a researcher working outside of the visual arts. He or she will examine the term through a particular lens, reflecting on the nuances, ambiguities, and plural meanings of the term.
For the second component, Gallery curator of research and program leader Julia Eilers Smith will pair the term with an existing artwork.
In the final component, a writer from the cultural sector will produce another short essay. Using the artwork as a point of departure, and drawing on the first essay, the writer will further explore various dimensions of the term and its significances.
Each term will be twice presented in this tripartite form — twice in the given year — before another term is selected for the following year.
Terms investigates how various, polysemic meanings are sedimented in words, how terms are disseminated, and how they alter public discourse.
The first edition of Terms explores the term Vulnerability.
Writer, researcher, community organizer, and activist Mostafa Henaway explores the term ‘vulnerability’ in relation to his work with migrants.
“If there is a term,” he writes, “that evokes a spirit of our moment, it is ‘vulnerability.’”
Henaway depicts our ambivalent notions of vulnerability. The term can sometimes evoke empathy for migrants that are struggling. But ‘vulnerability’ is sometimes considered in terms of the apparent ‘natural’ limits of a person or organism. We see vulnerability as a person’s natural susceptibility to inevitable assaults from the outside.
Henaway makes a case for other conceptions of vulnerability that allow it to be understood as something largely created through our own constructed political, economic, and social world.
He uses this notion of created “structural vulnerability,” exploring how various policies create adverse and exploitive conditions for migrant workers.
Henaway’s essay is followed in the program by a short 1960s film by Canadian artist Joyce Wieland, Hand Tinting.
Arts writer Yaniya Lee develops the exploration of vulnerability through a reflection on the film.
Forming a continuity with the theme of labour, the film is comprised of leftover footage produced by Wieland when she worked at a youth employment training center. The center aimed to teach employable skills to disadvantaged youth.
“Wieland’s task,” explains Lee, “was to film cutaways of the participants during downtime, allowing the recruitment documentary to show the centre’s atmosphere.”
When the company rejected Wieland’s documentary, she made her own film using some of the footage. The film is hand-tinted and perforated in places with a sewing needle.
In her own account of the experience, Lee writes, Wieland was moved by the somewhat pitiful circumstances of the young, mostly black women, while also inspired by their courage and willingness to invest in themselves.
Lee uses the film to reflect on the use of vulnerable subjects as the ‘content’ of film and works of art.
“Wieland ‘got’ the footage to make this film from a paid job; the girls she filmed were at a training centre seeking new opportunities,” Lee points out. “What does it mean to use other people’s bodies as matter” for a work of art?
Lee expresses her mix of admiration and distrust for Wieland’s work, wondering whether Wieland has advocated for vulnerable women or whether she has exploited them.
Lee concludes with a reflection on the relation between subject and work, this time questioning her own vulnerability as the writer making a subject of Wieland’s art.
The second posting of Terms will be launched in late January, 2021, examining vulnerability from another viewpoint.
Find out more about the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia.
PA art show and sale going virtual this year – Prince Albert Daily Herald
A popular Prince Albert art show and sale will be going virtual this year after the pandemic prevented them from hosting an in-person event.
The 42nd annual Kyla Art Show and Sale, typically hosted at E.A. Rawlinson or Plaza 88, will be presented online this year.
A website was specifically created for this event and will feature 15 artists. The sale will have a variety of work available such as paintings, wood burning, wood working, metal work and glass mosaics.
Kim Morrall with the Kyla Artist Group says she’s excited to see how the event will play out this year.
“I have full hopes it will be just as good and successful as our previous shows,” Morrall said.
As a mom of four and an artist herself, Morrall says the annual event pushes her to complete artwork and get involved with the community.
The art sale will launch at 2 p.m. on this Sunday, and run until Dec. 9th at 9 p.m. Artists will be responsible for shipping orders out to customers, Morrall said.
After shutting down for a few days, the website will kick back up again and give people the chance to shop more. Morrall added this is something the group has never done before.
“Most artists like myself we have artwork sitting in our basement…with no place to go and waiting to be sold so this is an opportunity for us to put some of that on there and hopefully have another avenue to sell our work.”
One disadvantage to not having an in-person event is that people won’t be able to speak face-to-face with the artists.
“The personal experience is always going to be better, one of the things people like is being able to meet the artists at our actual shows whereas you don’t get it this way,” Morrall added that the website will include artist photos and information about their work in lieu of this experience.
Another disadvantage is that most shoppers like to see art in person, but Morrall explained that all Kyla artists took good photos of their work.
Past shows have gotten up to 500 people in attendance. Morrall said with the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the group’s main priority was keeping this event safe which is why they decided to host it online.
Ticket sales to past shows have gone to charity organizations. Without an in-person event this year, a silent auction will be held instead with proceeds going towards Prince Albert Optimist Club. Kyla artists each donated an item to the silent auction.
Morrall said the artists group wanted to partner with a local group that did a lot for the community.
“They’re really great to work with and really nice,” she said.
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