Happy Canada Day!
The Canucks sure are a crafty bunch. And arty and designy, too. A recent show thay demonstrated that in spades was the Come Up To My Room event that took place this Spring at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.
Many of the pieces were a twist on classic Canadiana kitsch, such as Classic Canadian souvenirs by Cynthia Hathaway, like Inuit and polar bear figurines, which are melting into the ice due to global warming.
Moco Loco also interviewed Cynthia Hathaway about her work:
Our Canadian landscape is changing drastically, as it is globally, so the cultural challenge is to communicate responsibly our identity that makes one think through beauty of form and dialogue. It’s not the time to be romantic. It’s the time to have our symbols reflect reality. So yes, points of view can and must be changed, and evolve to meet the current situation that is hitting us between the eyes.
Also in the show were the Endangered Structures pillows by Amrita Takhar and Andrea Chin. These pillows depict Canadian buildings: the Bata Shoe Headquarters in Toronto, a lighthouse, a grain Elevator and an igloo. In the artist's words:
These iconic Canadian buildings are all under threat due to modernization, global warming, lack of heritage status and funding. These pillows suggest that we should embrace the past.
The Come As You Are souvenir shop that accompanied the show was full of other clever/cheeky Canadiana design, such as "Your Own Piece Of The Gardiner necklaces made from pieces of concrete from the crumbling highway, Timbit donut pins, and plush souvenir toys that were remixed so that the head of a plush beaver might end up with the body of a Canada goose and the arms of a mountie.
Many of the pieces featured seem to be tinged with self-deprecating, self-mocking irony. What's more Canadian than that, eh?