Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Ballerina Project, Toronto

One of the most captivating collections I've seen recently is The Ballerina Project by photographer Dane Shitagi. Rather than the typical 'dance photography' Dane has carefully crafted and curated the project to show the 'hearts and emotions' of the ballerinas, positioning them in unconventional urban settings in several different cities. I was excited to see one of the recent venues for the project was Toronto. I loved seeing these images of Alys Shee who dances for the National Ballet of Canada performing in so many familiar settings - beside highways, on streetcars. The sublime grace of their poses juxtaposed against the gritty city background make the images so much more interesting than conventional dance photography.

All of the images from the project are available for purchase, and a portion of the sale of each image goes directly to the ballerina pictured. 


I'd really love to own a copy of this image (below) featuring prima ballerina Heather Ogden silhouetted against the backdrop of the city. I was lucky enough to see Heather perform the titular role in Sleeping Beauty a couple years ago. Soon afterwards, through a random coincidence my husband (who had also surprised me with the tickets) was able to meet her. After he'd told her how much I loved the ballet and enjoyed her performance, she presented him with her own pointe shoes and signed them with a special message just for me. In addition to her incredible talent, this thoughtful gesture has forever endeared her to me and she remains a favourite of mine.

{All photos: The Ballerina Project}

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Loft lusting...

It seems here in Toronto, that every other day a new condo building has sprung up. Dozens of glittering mirrored towers currently litter the city skyline, and all seem to blend together at times. But every now and then, a new development comes along that takes a different form and really piques my curiosity. The West 40 Residences were converted from a Neo-Gothic cathedral and exquisitely designed with beautiful fittings (- look at that kitchen!) One of my pet peeves with so many modern condominiums is the lack of character and soul in the space, this project definitely isn't lacking on either of those fronts. (How much more 'soul' can you get than a converted cathedral?) I'm completely smitten, and now dreaming up all sorts of concocted lotto winning schemes that would see me moving in...

{All images: West40 Residences}

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thought for a new week 27.8.12

{Photo: Boden catalogue, August 2011}

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Celebrate the every day...

I love these bright and cheerful little buntings by Michiemay paperie. Not just for parties and celebrations, I think they'd be perfect in an office, or a children's bedroom, or really any corner of the home that could use a little shot of colour and sparkle. Seeing them would be such a friendly hello each time you walk in the door.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Floating in colour: Janet Echelman

I was immediately drawn in at first glance when I first discovered Janet Echelman's sculptural installations. Bold and powerful, yet light and ethereal at the same time. I almost didn't realized they were real and thought that the art was actual a beautiful piece of digital photography. I wanted to learn more about this artist and her bold vision. What I discovered intrigued me even more. 

Janet had gone to Hong Kong after college to study calligraphy and later moved to Thailand where she collaborated with local artists mixing traditional textile methods with modern art. After leaving Asia and working as an artist in residence at Harvard for seven years, she returned to India to work with a local community known for their amazing sculpture. Unfortunately the materials she had shipped to work with did not arrive and she began working with bronze casters in the village. She quickly found that this material was too heavy and too expensive for her budget. While watching local fishermen building their nets one evening, she began to wonder if these nets could be a new form of sculpture: a way to bring volume and form without heavy, solid materials.
 "I was mesmerized by the form of their nets and the fact that they were so changeable and flexible. They became this three-dimensional form that had no weight." 

Janet's sculpture '1.26' hung from the seventh floor of the Denver Art Museum. The City of Denver asked the artist to create a monumental yet temporary work exploring the theme of the interconnectedness of the 35 nations that make up the Western Hemisphere.

The way these sculptures illuminate under lights at night is simply spectacular.

The pieces below were part of an installation at the San Francisco airport called 'Every Beating Second'.

The installation below at the Museum of Modern Art in New York is entitled 'The Expanding Club'. The funnel-like space of the Museum's atrium suggested a cloud and
 "with recent news reports of North Korea's nuclear weapons testing, it became a nuclear mushroom cloud" rendered in the flag colors of each of the countries known to have detonated such weapons. In this work Echelman is "interpreting the most violent weapon that we humans have ever created, using one of the oldest and most humble techniques of tying things together."

Janet's pieces have been on display in major urban cities across the globe. Learn more about her work or where to see it at her website

{Photos: Janet Echelman}

Thursday, August 16, 2012

At Home: Kelly Klein's Natural Minimalism in Palm Beach

Photographer and former equestrian Kelly Klein's house has a wonderfully tranquil feeling. Set right on the water in Palm Beach, it is completely outfitted in all white with warm wood and jute accents. The whole space is bright and airy and completely opens up to the fantastic waterfront view. The line between indoors and out is blurred and makes the  beautiful view outdoors a part of the interiors as well. 

Kelly was formerly married to fashion mogul Calvin Klein and has acquired his sense of simplicity and minimalism.

"I’ve become more of a minimalist, and I’ve learned that from Calvin,” says Kelly 

This image of the kitchen has been on my mind since I first saw it. The clean lines, open shelves and the beautiful mix of cool white carrera marble and honey toned wood make it powerful even in its simplicity.

The lack of a hard exterior wall makes the indoors blend seamlessly with outdoors.

A sleek and simple outdoor shower has been on my Dream House wish list for some time now. (See some others examples here.)

Every room on the house boasts an amazing view of the water. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Casa de la Flora, Thailand

At last the weekend has arrived! Thankfully a bit of a shorter week with this past long weekend, but sometimes those can be the toughest weeks to get through still. It's pouring rain as I look out the window at the moment and I'm daydreaming of escaping the city sidewalks and heading off somewhere far away with an endless view of where the ocean meets the sky, and a subtle salty breeze. 

The villas at Casa de la Flora in the Phang Nga province of Thailand seem to be an ultimate retreat - sleek interiors, private plunge pools, a tub for two and the ultimate view.  Perfect for floating around and letting it all dissolve...

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend wherever it finds you!

{All photos: Casa de la Flora}

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Simple sophistication: Seventy Seven

Sometimes you come across a commercial space that you wish you could just move into. Toronto's Yorkville boutique Seventy Seven is the home to Kimberley Newport-Mimran Pink Tartan line. With herringbone wood floors, white panelled walls and beautiful fashion everywhere, every last detail in this space appears to have been carefully edited. While there are so many beautiful things on display, what has made the space so effective, in my opinion, is the amount that they've held back. Allowing a bit of breathing room between the displays and for each piece and feature to be showcased and admired. Kimberley, who is married to Club Monaco founder Joe Mimran, created the space to showcase not just the beautiful Pink Tartan fashions but also give context to the clothing by showcasing them together with a carefully edited collection of accessories and luxury items that are personal favourites of Kimberley's. Right now as I work on my office space, I'm feeling so inspired by Seventy Seven's clean minimal design with lots of character and little punches of colour thrown in. 

{Photos: BlogTO}

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Working inspiration 7.8.12

At the moment I'm elbow deep in a massive office clearance and reorganization. Right now there are about five hundred and fifty two pieces of personal paperwork spread out over the desk waiting to be filed and organized.  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment, and I'm almost tempted to tuck it back away to be dealt with at some indefinite date in the future. But I'm powering through. I know it's going to feel amazing once it's all complete. 

These images are the office space of design publicist Elizabeth Blitzer. I love the balance she strikes between function and personality. You could definitely make yourself feel right at home in this workspace. See more of her office here. 

{Photos: Patrick Cline for Lonny Magazine, June-July 2012}

Friday, August 3, 2012

A modern home amongst the eucalyptus

When New Zealand born artist Stefan Dunlop and his wife Adrienne (an Australian native) fled dreary London to make their home in the hills of Noosa, Australia, they'd never even seen the property they purchased in person. But working carefully together with Bark Designs Architects they created a modern, eco friendly sanctuary where Stefan could set up studio and they could raise their young family, in awe of their new breathtaking view. 

While it is fairly large, the home has a fairly low profile and is nestled in among the eucalyptus trees on the hills so as not to obstruct the natural surroundings. 

Soaring sixteen foot ceilings and walls of windows flood the entire space with light. All white walls, and clean lined architecture and furniture keep the focus of the space on the art (perfect for an artist's home) and the incredible view outside. 

The style and measurements of these mid-century modern pieces were used by the architects in planning the space to ensure they'd fit in perfectly. 

Sliding doors make this bedroom with en-suite into one open area so you could relax in the bath and take in the stunning view outside.

Artist in residence: Stefan at work in his studio.

The home features breathtaking views of the Noosa Hills and the Pacific Ocean. It also boasts a concrete plunge pool that you can jump into from the next level up.


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