Montreal’s Balade pour la Paix/Open Air Museum

What I find fun about sculptures in public places is looking at how they transform or interact with what’s around them, as well as enjoying the artworks themselves.

I’d loved to have been in on the discussions about where to place the thirty sculptures in Montreal’s Balade pour la Paix/Open Air Museum.

First of all, my absolute favourite match-up is ‘Walking Figures’ by Magdalena Abakanowicz (Poland) in front of ManuVie. This is an empty plaza type area set back off the sidewalk, in front of walls of glass and the building’s conventional revolving glass doors.

The area normally feels rather blank and empty. Not any more! For me these massive figures are Continue reading


Of The North-East Corner

detail of "Untitled" by Mimmo Paladino, 2002

I am the Defender of the North East Corner. Once a privilege, now a penance. For who wishes to linger beyond one’s given time? To see one’s world become strange, then stranger still?

In days long gone, before the sprouting of the concrete forest, when I stood in open country among grasses and brooks beneath an endless sky, the old people spoke often of the Grey Lizard.

Fortresses were built, Defenders sent out to all Corners. Who hears the Grey Lizard’s name now?

Yet, as Defender of the North East Corner, I made my pledge. First, to offer the bowl of friendship, as that is our way. Then, should the Lizard refuse to drink, to raise the alarm and protect this Corner to the end.

So here I stand, although I grow weary and am mocked, addressed not by my illustrious Defender title but as ‘moron’ and ‘weirdo’ by those that leap from the horseless chariots they call ‘bus’ and ‘car.’ Go back, they tell me, to where you came from.

Still I wait, in snow and sun alike, ready to fulfill my solemn oath.

"Untitled" by Mimmo Paladino, 2002

When the Grey Lizard comes, will we stand firm and fight? For fight we must. The bowl of friendship is broken now, cracked with age, the milk drained.

Has the Lizard lost its strength over the aeons? Have I? Will one of us hesitate, turn away and take flight? Will it be the Lizard? Or me?

Why would the Lizard take flight? Why would it fear me? I have only this shield left. See how the birds alight on it. They have no fear of me.

Listen to their merry chirruping.

How glad I am of them.

detail of "Untitled" by Mimmo Paladino, 2002


“Untitled” by Mimmo Paladino (2002) stands at the north-east corner of rue Sherbrooke and rue Musée, beside the Erskine and American United Church which is now part of the Montréal Musée des Beaux Arts.

See other magnificent Mimmo Paladino sculptures.

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge Life Imitates Art – “find inspiration in a piece of art, and go further: imitate it.”


2016 is my Year of the Blurt: each week I’ll take advantage of an odd spare moment or two to write something very quickly. Probably the blurts will mostly be fiction, but who knows! Will I be able to meet the challenge of posting one every Thursday through the year? Thank you for reading this blurt.

Please note: all material on this website, except for comments by others, is © Susi Lovell.

Golden Rain And Other Inspirations

When spring insists on remaining winter, it’s wonderful to have such a rich arts week! So great for enlightening our own creative process…

Golden rain

In Lin Hwai-min’s “Songs of the Wanderers” performed by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, three and a half tons of rice stream down as curtains of golden rain, splash up in high gleaming arcs and, in falling, transform into the shifting sands of a desert.

sun up in Sahara © Dr. J. HockAn ancient tribe struggles through this desert, leaning on their crooked staffs which have what look like a little leaf or bird at the top but are in fact tiny bells.

To one side, a monk or Buddha figure in white. Eyes closed, hands together in prayer. A constant column of rain pings off his head and hands and white robes. He remains absolutely motionless. Surely a statue. No. At curtain call he receives thunderous applause for his 90-minute stillness. Continue reading