Monday, August 21, 2017

Black and Light and Paris. . . and an Eclipse for Good Measure. . .

Having just booked a(nother) flight to Paris later this year (actual destination being a b-sitting gig near Rome, but Vancouver-Rome Direct, Non-Stop, not being a possibility). . . having just booked that last week, booked the hotel we'll stay in for a couple of nights before heading out of Gare de Lyon. . . having done that, I say (Wheeee!), it occurs to me that there's much I failed to share from my last visit to the City of Light.

For example, these promised sketches by the master from the Musée Bourdelle's magnificent show: Balenciaga, L'Oeuvre au Noir.

Aren't they wonderful?
In some ways, it's as exciting to see this evidence of the ideas emerging and developing as it is to see the completed results. . .



The show is over now, unfortunately, but the Musée Bourdelle is worth a visit nonetheless, anytime you're in Paris. Situated very near to the Gare Montparnasse, it provides a glimpse of life during that period when the neighbourhood hosted a community of artists. The building holds considerable architectural interest, and as I've shown in earlier posts is rich with significant sculptures throughout; the sculptor/artist's studio is wonderfully evocative and the small garden in the back provides welcome respite from a busy city.

I loved the weathered wood in this herringboned floor in Bourdelle's studio  (and, as you can see, I'm rather fond of my gold sneakers as well.. . )


and the old, worn stairs
One of a pair of friezes sculpted by Bourdelle for his back garden. . .
And before we finish, a few more images of the couture. . . .
Detail, above,  and full dress below, with shadow. . .
And speaking of shadows. . . the exhibition's lighting, its play between the rooms' sculptures and the couture, were all part of the show's attraction.
 If it's frocks you're looking for, you'll find a few more Balenciaga "little black dresses" in my earlier posts here and here. But here's one last treat.
I hope you enjoyed that. We may jaunt to Paris again together in the next few weeks as I've been paging through my travel journal, planning ahead by looking back. . .

In the meantime, though, I love to hear from you. Are you paying attention to today's Eclipse? Here in Vancouver the skies are clear, and we're in the pathway of a 90% coverage. We didn't acquire the proper safety glasses nor, I think, did any of my younger beloveds. I have to admit that my primary concern about this marvellous historic event is that of an anxious mother/grandmother: I want to text all my kids and tell them to be sure not to get blinded and not to let my grands get blinded either! I know! A bit silly, right, and of course since they're grown kids and responsible parents, I'm haven't done that and will continue to restrain myself. But poor Pater, I'm going to be watching his eyes like a hawk . . . You? Eclipse-watching plans if you're anywhere near its pathway? Take care of your eyesight! ;-)

27 comments:

  1. Oh, I thought of texting my grown son and daughter as well, to tell them not to get blinded. Uncharacteristic for me, and really quite...groan-inducing for them. We are in the 75% coverage range but it is a cloudy day and it is raining (hoorah!).

    I am looking forward to visiting Paris with you. I wouldn't have traded anything I did there last visit but wish I had another day to see this Balenciaga exhibit. No travel plans just now, I'm thinking about real estate...do I want a different neighbourhood in my retirement? So much to think about, including the coming disruption from properties on the block being subdivided (this follows three years of construction in the early 2010s as the decommissioned train line behind our block was developed). So easy to be NIMBY but so hard to live with the constant noise and dust and disruption that comes with infill housing. Anyway, I am asking myself 'what is your dream of a place to live' and then thinking about how I could achieve that. Luckily my dreams are modest.

    Too much rambling again...rainy day hazard!

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    1. That's so often the case with my travels -- I wouldn't have traded anything about a trip yet would have liked a bit more time to see one or two other sights or exhibitions. . . .
      It is very difficult to live with construction, as you've seen and commented on my IG post. We're pretty sure that we've got another building going up nearby within a year or two of the current ongoing project being completed. Ugh! I know the phase you're going through now. Good to spend time with the brainstorming, the daydreaming. . .
      Your rambling is never perceived as such here. I enjoy every word ;-)

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  2. Eclipse? Around 8.30 PM today-I don't think I need to text anyone here :-)
    Good luck to us all and,please,do tell,how was it!
    Dottoressa

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    1. No, I'd say you were safe ;-)
      We had to stay indoors anyway, because we had some new lighting fixtures being installed. But through the windows, the light outside was so powerfully eerie. . .

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  3. I don't have a lot of stand out memories from childhood but I do remember being trooped out from our history lesson by Mr Pollard who was very excited about the eclipse about to happen . We all peered through a piece of glass , smoked for the occasion & duly witnessed our first eclipse . This would be well over fifty years ago & it has really stuck in my mind . Hope your littlies remember too .
    Wendy in York

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    1. What an exciting occasion -- wonder if that smoked glass would pass safety standards these litigious days. . .

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  4. Like you, my concern has been for my grandkids - but I see on Facebook that their parents all made box viewers for them. The light was certainly eerie during the eclipse.
    Nice connection been the fashion silhouettes (beautiful) and the eclipse.

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    1. Clever parents. I imagine those Littles will remember fifty years on, as Wendy does. . .

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  5. I too have been angst-ing about the grandson and eye protection (aren't we a bunch of typical grandparents!). We had a big thunderstorm with hail and rain 10 minutes after the maximum eclipse coverage for our area, very dramatic.

    Thanks for more photos, the poof peplum dress is stunning!

    ceci

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    1. Yes, we do fuss pretty respectably as grandparents, don't we? Maintaining the stereotype! ;-)
      Oooh to the thunderstorm, hail and rain combined with an eclipse!!! Were you looking 'round for Macbeth's three witches? ;-)

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  6. Like the other grandparents here, my concern was for my grandson so..I asked my husband to text them. Well, he was just as concerned.

    And thank you for the charming sketches and the great photos. It certainly brought back wonderful memories of the Balenciaga exhibit.

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    1. Nice delegation, well managed.
      Wasn't that a brilliant exhibit! (and just the right size, I thought)

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  7. Yes I often prefer sketches to final product.

    I loved the eclipse. Seemed so poetic to me. xox.

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    1. It felt poetic to me as well. There is a poem by Robert Bly that matches your eclipse photo. I'll post it tomorrow.

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    2. But then again, when doesn't something feel poetic to me?:)

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    3. Too cute, KCJ!
      Loved your words below about the eclipse, about the moon and sun, the night sky, your father. You are a poet yourself, you know? I hope you know. . . Even concussed, you're beautifully articulate and the concepts and observations you articulate so often delight, give pause. . .

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  8. Wonderful photographs. I adore the stairs. Because of my concussions and whiplash—how ridiculous that sounds—the eclipse passed without my physical participation. It did give me an opportunity to think about our relationship to the sky. There is so much there to think about. So many memories as well. As you've seen, because they were in an intimate relationship with the night sky, suns, moons, and stars are a significant element of the Indigenous art I love, Salish and First Nations both. Since my dad mapped the American West in wilderness areas, I have many memories of summer evenings spent looking up at powdered-sugar bowl-of-stars skies as he named the constellations. One summer my dad mapped at Flagstaff, and we kids got to go to look at the skies through the Lowell Observatory telescopes. We made a return trip when my dad was in his eighties, and attended a night-sky viewing. My parents retirement home in the Sierras had two levels with a deck around the top level. There was no light pollution. I could drive from Palo Alto in the Bay Area four hours to their house, and lie on the deck in the dark and again visit my powdered-sugar sky.

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  9. I texted my sons, who are 18 and 24. I don't think I'll ever stop worrying about things like this!

    Fantastic photos - they do justice to the subjects.

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    1. you probably never will. But at some point (if my experience is typical) they will encourage you to worry silently ;-) Or they'll listen and keep the eyerolls to themselves. I still slip up, from time to time, and sometimes I catch those eyes rolling skyward...

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  10. We watched the eclipse with an awed gathering of all kinds of people on a Portland hilltop facing east and south. The 99.2% obscuration (we were slightly north of the path of totality) was amazingly different from totality but incredible just the same. Many people came with extra safety glasses to give to those without. The experience was not something to miss...I hope you ended up getting safety glasses and partaking of the majesty.

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    1. Sounds absolutely magical, the community gathering as well. . . My sister posted a video of a similar gathering in Victoria, and a friend posted some photos of the crowds gathered on the beach here in Vancouver. We were inside, with the electricians, attending to a more controllable light source....

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  11. Took unbelievable restraint not to text my daughter-in-law to protect the wee three!

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    1. Ah, this grandparenting gig -- it can be challenging! ;-)

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  12. I was out walking during the eclipse and the shadows with the strange light was very magical, almost other worldly. There were no bird singing. The silence was wonderful.
    Ali

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    1. Oh, and where you are you would really have felt the natural world's response....

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  13. I was out during the eclipse, but had neglected to get the glasses. But I loved watching the magical light and the behavior of the birds, all of which seemed poetic and quite magical. I also remember the eclipse from 1979, when I was in the pacific northwest to see it, and the earlier one on the east coast of the US, was it 1970? My memory is almost palpable. I was content with watching the world change this time, something I didn't notice when I was younger, focused as I was on the big event, and more than content to thank my fortunate life.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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