Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So they changed

...the sign at Tulabi Creek.

I couldn't believe it. It's been a creek for as long as we can remember. I went on about it all the way to Saskatoon. I went on about it at the reading. Why change a creek to a brook? For years I've been noting the birds we see at Tulabi Creek. Yesterday, for instance, we saw five Spruce Grouse and a Northern Hawk Owl near there. So on the way home today I was planning a big post on this. On names and naming. I was stoked by the time I sat down and googled. Of course what I found hadn't even crossed my mind. It looks like Tulabi Creek was not always called a creek. I pulled down the Atlas of Saskatchewan and, sure enough, the sign is now right. It's really Tulabi Brook.

Before the celebration, we went to the Mendel Art Gallery. I specifically wanted to see Hysteria and the Body, a touring exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada. I was especially interested in seeing the works by Louise Bourgeois. It was worth the trip.

Then I checked out Machines at Play, an exhibition of automated drawing machines and a kinetic and sound installation by Montreal artist Jean-Pierre Gauthier. Wow. That's where H and I spent the bulk of our time. If you're in Saskatoon, be sure to check it out. It's amazing.

Last evening I read at The Gallery / art placement inc. as part of the Hagios Press celebrations. It was great to see everyone. The reading was held in conjunction with the opening of Top to Bottom, a lovely salon style show that will run until February 19. The Gallery / art placement inc. is a great space for a reading. As I stood there with my poems, facing friends, strangers and so many strong paintings, many of which are landscapes by artists whose work I've been following for years, I felt so incredibly lucky. And at the end of the evening I left with cake, a gift from a writer. I am lucky, indeed.


Zachariah Wells said...

Brenda, have you read Peter Sanger's Spar?

Brenda Schmidt said...

No I haven't, but I think I see why you mention it. The road with two names? I'll have to check it out. I know that's one of the books you discuss in your essay on Sanger in CNQ.

Ian LeTourneau said...

I'll add that Spar is an amazing book.

And what did you think of O'Meara's new book?

Lemon Hound said...

That's great, the change in name. And great that Louise Bourgeois is traveling. And thanks for the post on LH by the way.

Brenda Schmidt said...

I've only read it once so far, Ian, so first impressions are all I can offer. O'Meara is a fine poet, so the poems are as well-written as I had expected. The book's overall tone is quite quiet. The poems that struck me are the ones that stay close to home. "After the Funeral" and "The Old Story" are two examples. The travel poems didn't speak to me as well, at least on first reading. My favourite poem in the book is "Nothing." Ten brilliant little lines that say everything. What did you think of the book?

The brook-creek thing is still driving me, LH. Now I want to know the full story. I suspect there are people out there who had the very same reaction when the Tulabi Creek sign went up years ago. I certainly have issues with name changes as all the people at the reading now know. Same goes with the corporate sponsored name changes of buildings and stadiums, even in places where I have nothing invested.

I became interested in Bourgeois a few years back after a writer who has heard some work from my current manuscript pointed me to her work. I've only just begun. Her body of work is immense. The chance to see some of it outside the covers of a book and in this particular context was great.

allanmcdougall said...

Is the distinction between a brook and creek similar to that of a hamlet and a town? Perhaps it has something to do with the flow of water? Maybe more water flows through Creeks and so they needed to change the name ;)

As for, Louise Bourgeois, she has a permanent exhibit at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston. I was there for a conference last February--a beautiful building, by the way; it's a huge cantalever that juts out over the Boston Harbour. Bourgeois' work is so dark. What's amazing is that she has been producing gallery art for nearly 80 years. And she's still doing it. I think she's in her 90s--don't have my informational pamphlet with me. But I think a replica of her giant spider statue [no name due to lack of pamphle] is outside the National Gallery in Ottawa. I've never been but I have seen pictures. I think there are 7 replicas in total worldwide. Another one is in Seattle. I was watched closely by museum personnel as I stood under that giant arachnoid in Boston. No pictures and no touching. But just standing under it was very compelling.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! Good questions! I have no idea. But I will find out. While we see lots of creeks, I can't recall seeing any other brooks in our travels in SK.

I envy you! That's very high on my list of places to visit. However, I did see Maman, the spider to which you refer, at the National Gallery last January. It was one of the highlights of my year. I wasn't brave enough to stand beneath it, though I was tempted. Instead, I nattered at H about structural matters. Like how do they know how well it's standing up? Are there giant spider inspectors? And so on.

Lemon Hound said...

i have seen the giant spider on the cage. it's at dia beacon. very disturbing.

Blogged about her several times, including here.
very sad to have missed her big retro at guggenheim. seen many shows, all so different...

Brenda Schmidt said...

I bet it was disturbing! Thanks for this. Both your post and Cooke's text are already switching on a few lights I didn't know were there.