Sunday, June 19, 2011

Art and Culture Overload!

Anyone who is visiting the Forest City for the first time this weekend would most likely come away with the impression that London is an undiscovered hotbed of cultural activity.  Car Free Weekend, The Fringe Festival, Nuit Blanche, BealArt show, Kid's Expo, K.D. Lang, and, even Snoop Dogg.  The mind boggles.  I tried to get to as many of these as possible (missed K.D and the Kid's Expo), and while I did not see Snoop Dogg, I, and anyone else downtown last night, certainly heard him.  Many of us wondered what happened to that 11:00 pm noise bylaw that requires an amazing band from Chile to stop performing at Sunfest precisely at 11:00 pm but allows Snoop Dogg to carry on long past midnight.  But I digress.....

Since the focus of my blog is what people are wearing on the street (or what I'm wearing), today's post features a couple of recent purchases from local artists.  Yesterday, I happened upon a booth set up on Dundas Street near the Central Library featuring the designs of Hazel Jane (this is the name on her business card--I have no idea if her name actually is Hazel Jane).  Along with some very pretty silk tops and skirts were some fabulously funky skirts and belts made from recycled leather.   I came away with this:
It has a bit of a "Xena, Warrior Princess" kind of thing going on, does it not?  Aside from that, the colour combination is gorgeous.  Each of her belts are one of a kind, and I could have easily picked out more than one if the budget had allowed.  Hazel Jane has a page on Facebook, and the booth will be there today for Day 2 of Car Free weekend.  Tell her the Forest City Fashionista sent you.
Some of the recycled leather skirts by Hazel Jane

Another artist who was camped out in the street this weekend is Matthew (of the Connell Family according to his business card).  His jewellery line is called Proper Copper, and he can be found some weekends at the Metropolitan Artisan's Market.  He designs unique and beautiful copper rings, bracelets, necklaces and abstract metal work, and is a fascinating guy to talk to.  He has been able to do what many artisans only dream of, that is, living strictly off of his art.  Mind you, in order to do so, he has scaled back his living expenses to a level that most of us would call "spartan", but you can't deny the appeal of spending your days doing what you love, and talking to people who are interested in your work.  I would never be able to simplify my life to the extent that he has (I love my clothes and shoes too much), but I admire his commitment to living an eco-friendly, art-driven life.  
Matthew Connell doing what he loves
The neckpiece I purchased from Matthew a few weeks ago

1 comment:

  1. i don't think london can be described as an undiscovered hotbed of cultural activity - it is world famous for its culture and people come from all over the world because of it. I love it!