John Hall: The Everyday Experience Bond!

I have always loved John Hall's hyper realism paintings of everyday objects in electric colours.  

John Hall painting

I showed Hall's work often when I was the Director/Curator of the Muttart Public Art Gallery in the late '80s and early '90s.  After I left the Muttart I was fortunate enough to add one of Hall's artworks to our collection - ironically it is titled "Tourist IV."

Who knew two decade later I would be blogging as the Everyday Tourist? Who had even heard of blogging the late '90s.  It is hung in our breakfast nook and is a part of our meals everyday. 

A recent trip to Kelowna allowed me to see Hall's retrospective at the Kelowna Art Gallery and not have to wait until it comes to Calgary in January 2017.  It was enlightening to see the how Hall's work has evolved, how he as incorporated everyday objects and events into his work, yet maintained a consistent vision of the everyday world we share, be that in Calgary, Kelowna or San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  

Having been in Mexico City, last Fall really helped me appreciate Hall's ability to capture sense of the everyday experience of urban living in a different culture. I have always felt a kinship with Hall's work, but never really understood why as I am not a big fan of realism.  

I now realize that we share the same fascination with collage of the everyday objects in everyday living. 

I hope you will enjoy this photo essay of Hall's retrospective which includes some of the artworks and all of the didactic panels. I have decided to not include the titles of the artworks as I think they can speak for themselves. 

John Hall
john hall painting
john hall painting
John Hall paintings
John Hall Painting
John Hall painting

Last Word

John Hall: Travelling Light A forty-five-year survey of paintings is on view at the Kelowna Art Gallery until July 10, 2016.  It will be at the Nickle Galleries as the University of Calgary from January  26th to April 29th, 2017. 

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It's Easy To Be An Everyday Tourist!

You don't have to try that hard to be an everyday tourist wherever you live.  You just have to get out and walk with a bit of curiosity and your eyes wide open.   

This week's highlights included:

  • An early morning walk in River Park with the morning sun glistening off the Bow River.
  • A dog walk with Rossi to the base of the Glenmore Dam
  • A trip to Evergreen to get my income taxes done
  • Downtown flaneuring
  • Walking home from yoga enjoyed a lovely evening chinook from the West Hillhurst bluff
  • A spectacular sunset from my backyard
  • Wandering Bowness Park
  • A morning walk in my community
  • Reading Jan Morris' book "Hong Kong" published in 1997

Here is my Everyday Tourist Week in photos....hope you enjoy.

Early Saturday morning walk with Rossi in River Park looking down on the sun glistening off the Elbow River. It was magical. 

With Calgary's early spring there are these lovely rag dolls everywhere. 

Sunday Rossi and I decided to go for along walk that took us to Calgary's Glenmore Dam, which use to have cars driving on top of it, but today it is a wonderful pedestrian bridge. 

Water rushing out of the Glenmore dam. 

Glenmore dam was built in 1932 for $3.8 million.  It has wonderful Art Deco elements. 

Found this debris still wrapped around a tree from the 2013 flood. 

These rocks haunted me with the way the light was reflecting off of them. 

A trip to the community of Evergreen to drop off paper work for income tax resulted in this photo. 

I am always amazed at what new things I can find when wandering downtown.  This fancy fence is part of a temporary plaza on top of the underground parkade where the York Hotel use to sit. The patterns on the fence are taken from the decorations on the facade of the hotel. 

Construction Impressionism in downtown Calgary.  For me downtown Calgary is just one big outdoor art gallery. 

Window licking collage in downtown Calgary. 

7th Avenue surrealism in downtown Calgary 

3rd Avenue downtown Calgary 

I had no idea I had captured this woman in this photo when I took it.  At the time I was cursing that the windows were dirty and I couldn't get clean reflections. Now I love the ambiguity of the narrative that this image suggests. Urban surprises come in many different ways. 

Coming home from yoga I notice the Chinook Arch forming in the west and decided to detour to the West Hillhurst bluff (aka dog park) to get a better view. I never get tired of Calgary's iconic cloud formation. 

While in the park I found this huge tree branch, which ironically mirrored the Chinook Arch formation.  What a great idea for public artwork?

Just a few blocks from my house I found this Horse Head tree swing.  For some reason it seemed very disturbing. (not that there is anything wrong with that) If you like this image you might like Front Yard Fun blog.

Also just a few blocks away is a house where the porch has become a bike rack. I love the fact that my community is filling up with young kids. 

Looking forward to Bowness Park this summer. It will be like a walk back in time with the renovations. 

One night as I am watching the NHL playoffs I notice a bright yellow light shinning in my backyard.  When I went outside this is what I found.