First Trip to the Art Gallery of Alberta with Baby!

Well, it took my husband and I months to decide, but we finally have a stroller! We chose a Bugaboo Bee in hot pink. I just love it. It’s small and light, which was essential for me, since I live in the city and love being able to take the LRT without too much hassle. It also handles beautifully and navigates through narrow places with ease, and I love that the seat is reversible. My only complaint so far is that the locks on the swivel wheels are a bit stiff, but otherwise it’s perfect!

Last Tuesday, my mom and I took the baby for her first outing in her new stroller. We decided to make the new Art Gallery of Alberta our first destination. After a quick lunch at Da Capo near the University of Alberta (they have really great pizza there, by the way), we took the LRT downtown. We got off the train at Churchill Station, and arrived at the new Art Gallery in minutes.

The newly opened Art Gallery of Alberta was gorgeous. The building was designed by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout, and forms a beautiful and functional space for the gallery. Mom and I had a wonderful time visiting the exhibits. I was able to take my time to enjoy the Degas sculptures (baby was napping), but I had a bit harder time with the Goya exhibit (baby was awake at that time, and a bit more noisy–perhaps she was debating the significance of Goya’s socio-political commentary?).

While Goya and Degas were fabulous, I must say that Karsh’s photographs blew me away. It doesn’t take long to realize that truly great photography requires every bit as much artistry as the other fine arts. My photos are about as far removed from Karsh’s work as my sketches are from Da Vinci’s.

Now that we have a family membership to the gallery, I can’t wait to return and take in these exhibits in more depth!

John Knight’s Pre-Raphaelite Photography

Photographer John Knight has a passion for the Pre-Raphaelites (and for vintage and fine art photography in general). Knight’s specialty is the Art Deco period (his studio is actually called Art Deco Studio), but he began his work recreating Pre-Raphaelite images after using two models he felt strongly resembled Jane Morris and Lizzie Siddal. Since then, Knight has recreated a number of iconic Pre-Raphaelite images for modern audiences.

And here we have John Knight’s photographic interpretation of the painting:

Of course, Knight uses a great deal of image editing software in order to reproduce the paintings, but it would be impossible to make them look much like the originals without it.

His interpretation of Frederick Sandy’s “Love’s Shadow” is spectacular, though it shies away from the energy and anger of the original. The girl in Knight’s version is a quite a bit more coy and far less threatening than Sandys’ (who you will recall is actually baring her teeth in the painting).

Knight’s version:

Anthony Frederick Sandys’ version – teeth bared, and looking a bit vicious:

I asked Knight what drew him to Pre-Raphaelite art. He replied that

“the images created by the PRB are amongst the most enduring of all art works ever created. They touch the soul and the heart, they challenge the eye and they transport the viewer back…back to fantasy, to chivalry, to folklore and myth to the stories of our childhood and the dreams of our imagination.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Be sure to check out John Knight’s website for more of his Pre-Raphaelite images. Many are quite extraordinary–I think my favourites are the Venus Verticordia (shown above) and Flaming June.