Environmental Matters

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Rock Climbers meet with Naturalists on the Residential Parkade
technological developments, urban, travel, understanding the world, natural and built structures, residential parking, landscapes horizons, rock climbing, parkades, parking tower, habitats, painting, landscape, rocks, parkade, motorhomes, homes, habitats,
description

Throughout her career Bond has alternated between her  artistic practice"Practice" is something a person does repeatedly, whether to improve or to do what one does customarily, habitually, or professionally. Writers occasionally refer to what artists do as their practice: "Duchamp's practice" or "Picasso's studio practice." Some prescriptivists have criticized this usage as pretentious. The stronger tradition is to speak of the practices of physicians, lawyers, and dentists. Those professionals must have licenses in order to practice. They are white collar, and less messy. Speaking of an artist's "practice" is somewhat comparable to speaking of an artist's "production" — art making. (artlex.com)  and travel finding, like many people, that travel is important to her understanding of the world.

start quoteWe're compelled to see what's going on elsewhere. My work doesn't have horizons or fields. But they are Manitoba landscapes in that they're not Manitoba landscapes; they're about other places being brought here.end quote-- Eleanor Bond

“We’re compelled to see what’s going on elsewhere. My work doesn’t have horizons or fields. But they are Manitoba landscapes in that they’re not Manitoba landscapes; they’re about other places being brought here.” (Eleanor Bond on how what she sees on her travels affect her work, Border Crossings, 1996)

In Rock Climbers meet with Naturalists on the Residential Parkade, Bond takes ideas or objects we are familiar with – rock climbers, naturalists, and the parkade – and gives them an imaginative twist. But is Bond’s residential parkade a natural structure, or is it built? It appears to be neither one nor the other, which gives it an edgy quality. Maybe it could be built, but why would you want to build it?

In Bond’s skewed urban setting the parkade – where commuters’ vehicles are usually warehoused for eight hours a day – becomes a massive spiraling parking garage for mobile homes. To this imaginative leap Bond adds lush greenery, as well as vertical projections and irregularities. These elements might be considered as a necessary  habitatThe natural abode, locality or region of an animal or plant.  (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  for the naturalists and the rock climbers mentioned in the title … except that Bond’s dark and disorienting parking tower houses hundreds of identical motor homes. Why someone would want to live there is anyone’s guess, but perhaps that’s one of the questions Bond wants us to ask ourselves.

Bond also adds a touch of menace to her parkade. While most parkades are uniformly concrete-gray or beige, her spiraling tower glows with an almost infernal reddish-purple hue. She pushes our understanding of what a parkade might be to the edge, and when we do look over the edge we see elements of a city and a harbour far below, partly obscured by wisps of cloud. What appears to be orderly and organized at a distance becomes less and less appealing when seen up close.

additional resources Things to Think About
Tower of Babel
Advanced Activity

Make a  studyA preparatory drawing, related to a sketch. (Artlex.com)  of a building in your community that you like. This might be an older building or could be a brand new one. If it is an historical landmark building, try to find out some of the history of the building by searching for information at your local archive or library. Make a scrapbook of a variety of photo images and sketches of features that you think are successful. You may want to make a  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  of your chosen building. For some examples of sketches, check out the Sketches of Frank Gehry at http://www.sonyclassics.com/sketchesoffrankgehry/main.html.

Why do you think it is important to  designA plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity. Also [applied design], the production of attractive and well crafted functional objects. Subcategories of the design arts include: architecture, bonsai, fashion design, furniture design, graphic design, ikebana, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, stagecraft, textile design, and Web page design. (Artlex.com)  architecture that suits the local environment? Here is a website that provides illustrations of tall buildings designed by architects - the Museum of Modern Art (the exhibition is called Tall Buildings, and this is an interactive site): http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2004/tallbuildings/index_f.html Some of the challenges of architects in the 21st century might include:

Gardens in landscape

Gardens are a different form of architectural design. People everywhere are recognizing the importance of gardens and green spaces, greenways, green wedges and green belts. Architects and artists have used derelict and ugly spaces as places to renew and create beautiful gardens. Here are some examples:

The following link documents an exhibition devoted to garden architecture

Tower in Lucca

Roof gardens, which have been around as far back as  medievalRefers to the Middle Ages.  The period in European history between the collapse of Rome and the Renaissance, from 476 CE to about 1450. Also known as the medieval period, and as the Dark Ages.  (Artlex.com)  times, are used when there is little other available space. The picture on the left shows an old tower in the Tuscan city of Lucca, Italy where a garden has developed over time. The public can climb up the winding staircase to visit the garden and look over the city.

Write and illustrate a story

  • Could the tower in the picture inspire a story? . Write that story and illustrate it using this picture as inspiration.

Make a  DrawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  and add a Sandscape

Italian architects in the time of the  RenaissanceA revival or rebirth of cultural awareness and learning that took place during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, particularly in Italy, but also in Germany and other European countries. The period was characterized by a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman art and design and included an emphasis on human beings, their environment, science, and philosophy. (Artlex.com)  built beautiful churches and invented new ways to build bell towers. How different are these compared to Eleanor Bond’s strange parking tower? (You can go to the Google images search and find pictures of Renaissance churches to compare

  • Use one of these pictures as a source to begin a drawing, adding some unusual landscape, or place the tower in an unusual setting.
Leaning Tower of Pisa Tower
Advanced Activity

Eleanor Bond’s  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  might not be so far-fetched today because today’s environmentalists and city planners are trying to find unique ways to make urban  spaceSpace can be the area around, within or between images or elements. Space can be created on a two-dimensional surface by using such techniques as overlapping, object size, placement, colour intensity and value, detail and diagonal lines.  attractive. Architects now often incorporate  landscapeA painting, photograph or other work of art which depicts scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers and forests. There is invariably some sky in the scene. (Artlex.com) Landscape is also a term that may also refer simply to a horizontally-oriented rectangle, just as a vertically-oriented one may be said to be oriented the portrait way. (Artlex.com)  and living environments in their building plans, or try to  designA plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity. Also [applied design], the production of attractive and well crafted functional objects. Subcategories of the design arts include: architecture, bonsai, fashion design, furniture design, graphic design, ikebana, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, stagecraft, textile design, and Web page design. (Artlex.com)  buildings that fit into the existing surroundings.

  • the spectacular Guggenheim Museums in Balbao, Spain and in New York City
  • an amazing setting for a home - the Sirmai-Peterson Residence in Thousand Oaks, California
  • the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California - scroll down and click on the icons that will show you the interior of this unique concert hall
  • And for more about trying your own hand at creating models of buildings, go to:
Online Activity
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Make a jigsaw puzzle of some unusual natural and architectural features. These may inspire your own designs.  To complete the puzzle, click on and drag the pieces and snap them together (if they fit!!)

Studio Activity

In her  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  Rock Climbers meet with Naturalists on the Residential Parkade, Eleanor Bond blends human-made structures and vehicles with a rugged mountain-like landscape, not something you might expect to see in a city.  Look at it again here:  it just might inspire you to  designA plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity. Also [applied design], the production of attractive and well crafted functional objects. Subcategories of the design arts include: architecture, bonsai, fashion design, furniture design, graphic design, ikebana, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, stagecraft, textile design, and Web page design. (Artlex.com)  an unusual urban  landscapeA painting, photograph or other work of art which depicts scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers and forests. There is invariably some sky in the scene. (Artlex.com) Landscape is also a term that may also refer simply to a horizontally-oriented rectangle, just as a vertically-oriented one may be said to be oriented the portrait way. (Artlex.com)  of your own.

Design a space you would like to have in your city or town, or redesign a  spaceSpace can be the area around, within or between images or elements. Space can be created on a two-dimensional surface by using such techniques as overlapping, object size, placement, colour intensity and value, detail and diagonal lines.  that is familiar to you. This might be a condominium complex, a playground, house, school, shopping mall, or whatever place you would like to redesign! Think about the living spaces people will want in the future for quality living. Imagine you are an architect and you are pitching your idea to a client.

Make a rough  sketchA rough or unfinished visual composition, usually to assist in the completion of a more elaborate version.  and consider the following:

Take this idea further.  You may want to carry this  designA plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity. Also [applied design], the production of attractive and well crafted functional objects. Subcategories of the design arts include: architecture, bonsai, fashion design, furniture design, graphic design, ikebana, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, stagecraft, textile design, and Web page design. (Artlex.com)  into a model or  maquetteA small sculpture made as a preparatory study or model for a full-scale work. (Artlex.com)  stage. Use cardboard boxes or  foundAn image, material, or object, not originally intended as a work of art, that is obtained, selected, and exhibited by an artist, often without being altered in any way. The cubists, dadaists, and surrealists originated the use of found images / materials / objects. Although it can be either a natural or manufactured image / material / object, the term readymade refers only to those which were manufactured. Also known in the French, objet trouvé. (Artlex.com)  objects. Build your idea on a base so you may easily store or transport it to various locations.  If you prepare a base with sufficient area around the building structures, you can also add dirt or sand as well as some  landscapeA painting, photograph or other work of art which depicts scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers and forests. There is invariably some sky in the scene. (Artlex.com) Landscape is also a term that may also refer simply to a horizontally-oriented rectangle, just as a vertically-oriented one may be said to be oriented the portrait way. (Artlex.com)  materials.

OR

If you have a drawing/paint program on your computer, make a  virtualExisting not in actual fact or form, but in essence or effect in the mind, especially as a product of the imagination or of illusion. (Artlex.com)  plan and prepare to show it as a presentation.

References

Enright, Robert. “The Comfort of Edges: Working the Calm Bewilderment.” Border Crossings, 1996.

Eyland, Cliff. ‘Architexture: The Paintings of Eleanor Bond.’ Border Crossings, 2000, issue 76, pp. 70-71. Retrieved from the Internet on October 20, 2008 (as Eleanor Bond’s Social Centres) from: http://www.umanitoba.ca/schools/art/galleryoneoneone/bond.html

Future Cities and  VirtualExisting not in actual fact or form, but in essence or effect in the mind, especially as a product of the imagination or of illusion. (Artlex.com)  Cities Project (Eleanor Bond). Artist Listings. McMaster University. Retrieved from the Internet on October 20, 2008 from: http://virtualcities.mcmaster.ca/artists/bond.html

Johnson, Mia. Eleanor Bond: Quick aging pivoting city.’ Selected Previews, February-March 2000. Retrieved from the Internet on October 20, 2008 from: http://www.preview-art.com/previews/00-02/3.EleanorBond.html

Moffat, Charles. ‘Eleanor Bond.’ The Art History Archive, Canadian Art, 2007. Retrieved from the Internet on October 20, 2008 from: http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/canadian/Eleanor-Bond.html

Matuz, Roger, editor. Contemporary Canadian Artists. Toronto: Gale Canada, 1997.

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Eleanor Bond. Exhibition announcement, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Ontario, February 15-April 1 2001.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning