Sunday, December 8, 2019

Medusa And The Winged Lion

Today I have some odds and ends. The last time I did one of these, I featured a Medusa that looked a bit more friendly. This one looks more fierce. It's a nightclub up in the Byward Market, and this is their logo on the doors.

Back in the summer a fire broke out in the Market and destroyed three businesses. These shots from a few weeks back shows the demolition process. It could have been worse- alleyways on either side kept the fire from spreading to other buildings before firefighters could get it under control.

This shot was taken before the last game of the season for the Ottawa RedBlacks of the Canadian Football League. I happened to attend, though it's not a sport I go for. The team had a bad season, and did lose this game to Montreal, but at least they went down fighting, instead of getting mauled like several other games this season that had been blowouts. This is taken from the upper level of the south stands, while people were still filing into the stands.

Utility boxes in Ottawa are often decorated thematically in different neighbourhoods. Out in the Westboro area, the theme is nature.

I've never shown you this building before. The Plant Bath is a heritage building dating to 1924, at the intersection of Preston and Somerset at the north end of Little Italy. It has been extensively refurbished a few years ago, and expanded into a recreational centre with adjoining park. 

Out front is a monument commemorating the Vietnam boat people- the tens of thousands of refugees accepted into Canada in the 1970s and 1980s.

Taken a few days later, here's a close up of the monument.

Down the street on Preston is the Sala San Marco, a banquet hall. Two winged lions guard its entrance.

Back in the Glebe, a historic plaque is on the side of St. Giles Presbyterian Church, documenting the origin of the neighbourhood.

This is a sculpture in Centretown. The Listening Tree is a steel pipe installation by Jesse Stewart and Matthew Edwards, placed here in 2016. The pipes channel the breeze on a windy day and turn this into a sonic sculpture as well as a visual one.

I finish with another work of public art. Winston Square is out in Westboro, and includes this sculpture by Joanna Swim and Adrian Gollner. Winston Chandelier was erected here in a pedestrian square in 2017, and includes animals, plants, and constellations in its design.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Finale For The War Museum

Coming out of the ramp leading out of Lebreton Gallery, one wall is often used to display a given work of art for awhile. At the moment it is a set of four canvases depicting a single scene. I photographed from right to left. The Roads Of France was painted by C.R.W Nevinson in 1917, and each portion paints a single aspect of the approach to the front lines.

Here it is as a whole.

Across from them stands a recent addition to the Museum's collection, one with a lot of history. Canadian soldiers ended the First World War at Mons, Belgium. In August 1919, two 18 pounder field guns were presented to the citizens of Mons in friendship. It was said that this one was the last Canadian artillery gun to fire before the armistice. As a centennial tribute to the end of the war, Belgium gave this one back to the War Museum. I hope you've found this visit to the War Museum enlightening.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Warfare Found On The Canvas

I start out today with two final images from Lebreton Gallery.

The ramp that leads back up to the main entrance of the museum features large canvases of war art. This is The Taking Of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday 1917, a 1919 painting by Richard Jack, showing the Canadian battle of the First World War.

Here we have two angles on one painting. Canada's Grand Armada 1914 is a 1919 painting by Frederick Challener, depicting the First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force sailing for Europe in the fall of that first year of the war.

World War Two brought a different kind of art, done by the pilots or their ground crews: nose cone art put onto fighters and bombers.

Battlefields Of Ypres is a 1920 painting by David Young Cameron, depicting the shattered battlefield near the Belgian city.

And this is No Man's Land, by Maurice Cullen, done around 1920. I will be concluding this series tomorrow.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Armoured Cavalry And A Fighter

The vehicles and equipment in Lebreton Gallery is lined up thematically, with tanks of various countries side by side.

On Remembrance Day chairs are set up in here for viewing of the national services, or choral performances.

One of the necessities of any moving army: meals. This is a mobile canteen dating to the Second World War.

The Canadian fighter jet is one of the items that had to be moved into the building before construction was completed. It dominates the gallery.

This tank, a Valentine, looks rough. The Soviet army used the British designed and Canadian built tanks during the Second World War. This one broke through ice in the Ukraine and spent a few decades underwater. Now it's here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A Long Forgotten Weather Station

More from LeBreton Gallery today.

This is the staff car of Field Marshal Harold Alexander, whose command was in North Africa and Italy. After the war he ended up serving as Canada's governor general.

Two larger vehicles are here.

A model of a ship, the Nipigon, is on display too. For comparison, the actual ship was about as long as the Museum is wide.

Here we have another of my favourite artifacts in the Museum, the weather station codenamed Kurt. During the Second World War the German navy installed this at the north end of Labrador, painting the bins to look like a Canadian station. It transmitted data for a short time, then ceased, and faded from memory for forty years until a German researcher came across information on it in war records. The fact that it was out there for so many years and went unnoticed is marvelous.