Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mother Earth

I have two shots to start off today, both with different settings of the same pic, one natural and the other black and white. It's a very similar stance to my current header, taken last year, and taken from the general location where the First Nations topiaries began.

Mother Earth: The Legend Of Aataentsic is the title of this topiary, the largest of all of them at MosaiCanada when you include all of the animals that are part of it. The idea of a mother earth tends to be common among world cultures, and so it is with First Nations peoples. Animals spring up to life around her- bison, horses, caribou, deer, moose, the eagle, even bears. 

Several bison, or buffalo depending on how you think of them, are grouped over at one side.

Horses are nearby. I edited two versions of this shot, the original and one with enhanced colour.

Moving a short distance away I photographed them again.

Then I turned my attention back to Mother Earth. I have more from this tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Raven And Moon

The path at MosaiCanada continued into an area of First Nations culture influenced topiaries. This first set was new. Raven And Moon Masks is the title, and it recreates two works of art. On the right is The Raven And The Light, based on the 1992 work of Haida artist Lyle Wilson, a nod to legends in which the raven brought the light of the morning star to humans after stealing it from a spiteful chief who was hoarding it. On the left the topiary recreates The Moon Mask, a 1995 work by Tony Hunt Jr. of the Kwakiutl First Nation. That work relates to the ceremonial telling of the story of the full moon in opposition to the half moon.

Across the path we have another one you might remember from last year. Wisakedjak And The Creation Of The World is based on the Anishinabeg vision of how the world came to be. The creator, Kichi Manito, destroyed what had come before by flood after animals had fallen to fighting amongst themselves. His son Wisakedjak told the surviving animals that one of them would have to dive deep beneath the waters to retrieve a clump of earth so that plants could grow again. The muskrat succeeded in the effort, the earth was placed onto the turtle's back, and the world began again.

Born With The Sun is the title of this topiary. Artist Christine Sioui Wawanoloath was behind this work that concerns itself with the First Nations idea of zoanthropic beings- those combining animal and human traits. That kind of metamorphosis presents itself in the canoe, while birds fly past.

Today I leave off with two perspectives from the other side of Wisakedjak.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Musical Interlude

Remembering Glenn Gould is a topiary in the form of a grand piano and chair, commemorating the great Canadian classical pianist. It was part of MosaiCanada last year and returned for this time around. I used a different setting for the same shot as seen below.

Beside it was a new topiary- to be precise, a pair. The Ballerina is its title, and features a ballerina and cellist, evoking the music box motif. The ballerina actually moves around in a circle. I took all three shots from the same vicinity within a few seconds.

Here the cellist gets a bit of solo spotlight- with a hint of things to come in the background.

Coming back around from the background area, which I'll start showing tomorrow, I took some other shots of the piano and ballerina from this side of things. A performance was going on- during my visit a pair of local Chinese dancers were on stage before the piano topiary.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

History And Legend

Picking up where I left off yesterday, across the path from The Bird Tree was another new topiary. This one is Red Crowned Cranes, and depicts a trio of cranes native to Japan, China, the Korean peninsula, and parts of Siberia.

The next topiary along the path was one that was here last year as well. Jos Montferrand: A Giant From Gatineau pays tribute to a voyageur and lumberman of the 19th century whose life in the Ottawa Valley became that of legend, with tall tales building on his story. Joseph Montferrand was a French speaking strongman known to stand up for the little guy in working class neighbourhoods, carrying a reputation for feats of strength, most infamously routing a gang of 150 men on the bridge between what was then Hull and Ottawa. His story lives on in story and song. The topiary is appropriately much larger than life.

From this point along the path we get a different perspective of the CPR 374 topiary, where we began this series.

Along the topiary is another sculpture from last year, moved here from a different spot along the pathway. Odyssey And Hope is the work of British sculptor Heather Jansch, a sculpture of driftwood in the shape of a mare, Odyssey, and her colt, Hope. They are placed in a field of flowers.

The Voyageur is the next one. From the 17th century into the 19th century, the French speaking voyageurs travelled deep into the continent for the fur trade, which was dominated from the hub in Montreal. Voyageurs interacted with First Nations peoples and pushed into what for white people were unknown spaces. It was a hard life filled with perils, but one that left a huge legacy- explored landscapes and trading posts that would give rise to cities.

And up the path is this topiary. The Winning Goal, Summit of '72 shows the iconic moment in Canadian sports history in which the Summit Series between the Soviet and Canadian hockey teams, deemed the best two teams in the world, was decided by a winning goal in the eighth and final game of the series, a goal made by Paul Henderson of the Canadian squad. A photograph of that victorious moment forms the basis of this topiary.