Monday, October 8, 2012

ABC Wednesday - Letter "I"

Finding a musician I didn't know whose name begins with the letter "I" was challenging.  In the end, some browsing took me to Russian pianist, Valentina Igoshina.  Her performance of Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu, uploaded on You Tube five years ago, is mesmerizing.  Even if you never check out You Tube links, this is one I hope you will find time to enjoy. It shows a younger Valentina with waist length hair but the same astounding technique and musical maturity that helped her to win the Artur Rubinstein piano competition (at age 14!) as well as the Rachmaninov International Piano Competition.   I am happy to have discovered her.

I found an artist for the letter "I" by doing a google search, and the discovery inspired some  intellectual growth as I studied the images and tried to imagine an interpretation.  In the end, I didn't come close to predicting Jörg Immendorff's intentions but the fun was in thinking about the infinite possibilities.  I will put the titles over the photos of his paintings, with some write-ups that I found at various sites underneath, so that you can investigate and compare other insights, should you have the time and inclination to do so.
"Cafe Deutschland IV" 
"His paintings are sometimes reminiscent of surrealism and often use heavy symbolism to convey political ideas. He was a member of the German art movement Neue Wilde. Best known is his Cafe Deutschland series of sixteen large paintings (1977-1984) that were inspired by Renato Guttuso’s Caffè Greco; in it, Immendorff had disco-goers symbolize the conflict between East and West Germany." Information taken from this site.
"For All the Loved Ones in the World"  
There was very little information about this painted wood and metal sculpture, perhaps because the title speaks for itself.  It is listed for sale at this site
"All's Well That Ends Well"
"In this painting, Jörg Immendorff presents a divided Germany in turmoil. Adopting Shakespeare's theatre as a post-Fascist arena, eagle-folk run en masse towards the future, while the few still clamouring to the past are trampled, bleeding, underfoot." (info from this site)

The Wikipedia article about Jorg Immendorff describes him as having suffered from feelings of "inadequacy and emotional remoteness" despite his significant success as an artist.  It goes on to say that he was expelled from art school but many years later, hired as a professor at the very institution that had rejected him.  There was scandal and intrigue and sadly, his life was cut short by ALS when he only 62.  I feel I've barely touched the surface in coming to an understanding of his life and art.

"The Drop" by Inges Idee

I had already chosen an "I" artist, but about a week ago, the incredible "Mozart à Milano" performance (facebook post) brought me to this sculpture during a walk downtown.  It turned out to be by Inges Idee.  Impossible to resist, with two "I's" demanding attention, but this time, as the link explains, involving a group of four German artists.  Here is the write-up that Inges Idee had inscribed on a nearby plaque in 2007. 
"Thrust into the waters of Burrard Inlet, "The Drop" playfully invites the viewer to reflect on our relationship with this precious commodity of water, and by extension, on the history, complexity and future of our waterfront.  "The Drop" pays homage to the element of water and the untameable forces of nature which are omnipresent in Vancouver.  The slender, elongated sculpture balances as if a huge raindrop were on the verge of landing on the seawalk.  Although the sculpture takes a natural phenomenon as its starting point, it displays a technical perfection, artificially coloured to correspond to the sky, and contrasting with the pale yellow of the mass of sulphur visible on the horizon.  The sculpture's angle and orientation create a visual dialogue with the architecture of the Convention Centre West, as well as with the bows of the gigantic cruise ships.  Like an abstract, radiant-blue ship's figurehead, it marks the interface between land and water, between nature and technology.

The rest of this post is an assortment of photos that brought "I" words to mind.
Infinity: looking down from the Cambie Bridge.

Inuksuk: by the False Creek seawall. 

Intensity: Black Jack looking for critters by the False Creek seawall.

"I" shape in some fallen leaves at the shore line.

1. of yours truly at "Hearts on Noses" rescue.

and of Bill..

showing his many talents..

at "Hearts on Noses" rescue.

2. Of a seal by Salt Spring Island that I listened to and watched during our week there.  I'm assuming it was industrious in giving frequent warnings to other seals to stay away.  Or, perhaps, there is another explanation for this behaviour.  I checked out this site and learned that harbour seals like some space around them and will warn other seals to keep their distance.  They also may slap the water with a pectoral flipper, both as a sign of aggression but also during courtship.  I don't know what motivated this one, but the energy behind that flap was definitely impressive.

3. Of a Salt Spring Island osprey ..

transporting his catch back to the family.

4. Of Carol, trying to get control over an invasive species (Common Broom) at Salt Spring

Of Bill, during a break from power washing, at Salt Spring.

An Inuksuk "i" shape by False Creek.

Iona Island adventure: There are many more photos from our "adventure day" at my facebook post, but for this post, just a few of my favourites sans captions:

This one requires a small explanation.  It is the beginning of a sequence from a "Bill and Black Jack dance" that I loved.  The facebook post will give you the full performance.

One last Inuksuk in, perhaps, an "I" shape, to conclude the post.  Thanks for stopping by.  It is so much appreciated!  For other alphabet posts from around the world, do check out the amazing ABC Wednesday blog meme. The posters at that site are on the letter "L" now and soon to go to "M" but I soldier on :)


  1. Black Jack’s intensity in your photo is like none other! Another one of a kind is the Inukshuk that reminds me a little of a duck. Nice to see that you and Bill are doing such useful work at Hearts on Noses and also tackling the broom at Salt Spring. It isn’t easy keeping such a pervasive plant down. Your retirement doesn't look very retiring and sure seems like a lot of fun. :)

  2. 'the drop' is really so cool! so simple, yet i love it.

    the osprey with fish would be awesome to see! great job getting it on camera! the hawk, too, is so beautiful.

    i love your little blackjack and the man that loves her, too. :)

  3. Well, now this anti-facebook blogger just has to go to your facebook page to see the rest of Bill and Black Jack's dance! Loved the photos from Salt Spring - so glad you were able to capture that shot of the osprey with fish. I never can!

  4. So many great action shots of you, Bill, Black Jack and bird and animal life. Love the inukshuks and the flowers. Carol, beautiful as always.