Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Checked out Contact Galleries and Queen West

© Michael Willems

I drove to Toronto yesterday and wandered in the Fashion, and Art and Design Districts checking out about a dozen galleries on Queen West and various other shops including a couple of Tibetan shops, and the Paper Place, and the Curry's art supply store - which I remember going to when I was a kid.

Some really great gallery locations ranging from store front hole in the wall places to the MOCCA. It was so inspiring being around all that photographic creativity in such a small stretch of one street in one city. Ryn and I came up with lots of cool artistic ideas and potential collaborations that afternoon. And that was only a taste of some of the galleries. Not all locations were open on Sunday, and not all shows were in the same area of the city.

One exhibit that struck me was one that reminded me of Larry Clark's Tulsa work. It was Michael Willems' show at the New Gallery. Willems chronicled the lives of a couple who were drug users and their descent into self destruction and their successful struggle to pull themselves out of the pit they created. Some gritty harsh images, some beautiful nudes and some great narrative. And the couple featured in the images were there in the gallery as well. It was interesting seeing that.

The whole stretch of Queen is a great place to wander and explore on a fine Sunday afternoon with good company. So much to see and do. Honestly, too much to see! I don't think I could move back to Toronto right now, but I could certainly see myself living in an area like that one day. And a return trip there is certainly in order sometime soon.

If you are in Toronto during May, go check out some of the Contact exhibits. And if you are here in London, come check out mine at the Williams on Wonderland. The opening is tomorrow at 7 pm and the prints are up for the remainder of the month.


Mike Wood Photography

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