Photographer Selwyn Pullan

 

Photographer Selwyn Pullan captured the spirit of modernism on the West Coast

Celebrated photographer and North Shore resident Selwyn Pullan died on Monday, September 25, 2017. Born in Vancouver on March 14, 1922, Pullan studied photography at the Art Center School in Los Angeles (now the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena) from 1948 to 1950. His iconic images of West Coast Modern architecture captured the spirit of innovation and design in British Columbia from the 1950s to the 70s. Pullan’s photographic projects by many leading architects, including Barry Downs, Arthur Erickson, Fred Hollingsworth, Ned Pratt and Ron Thom, were prominently featured in lifestyle magazines of the era.

Selwyn Pullan’s compelling photographs were the subject of two solo exhibitions and the seminal book Selwyn Pullan Photographing Mid-Century West Coast Modernism (Douglas & McIntyre 2012), produced by the West Vancouver Museum. In 2014, Pullan generously donated his important archive of more than 10,000 negatives and prints to the museum.

“I saw Selwyn’s photographs at his studio for the first time in 2004. I kept visiting him to learn about the development of modernism in this city. His images brilliantly showcased modern living on the West Coast and the pioneering architectural designs that played an important role in the city’s growth,” says Kiriko Watanabe, Assistant Curator, who worked closely with Pullan on both exhibitions and the monograph.

“We are fortunate that Selwyn chose to donate his collection to the West Vancouver Museum. It is a lasting and historically important record of a bygone era. We will honour Selwyn’s monumental achievements by making the collection accessible over time,” says Darrin Morrison, Administrator/Curator.

The West Vancouver Museum will honour Selwyn Pullan’s legacy with an exhibition of his work in 2018.

Image: Selwyn Pullan in his studio. Photograph by Ken Dyck, 2008.

 

This post was written by the West Vancouver Museum.

Rest in Peace Robert Burgers

Robert and Marieke Burgers have been clients since the mid 1960’s. At that time Niels remembers a young vibrant Dutch couple, full of optimism.

Robert taught us and our design community so much. He was a huge personality, generous, warm and he didn’t suffer fools gladly. A perfectionist, he always was pushing and pressing for better.

His family was his centre and he taught us to treasure that family time above all else.

The first time that I was at the Burgers home, I noticed that they didn’t take the Artemide tags off the Tolomeo lights. Why? It just was that way.

The homes that he designed are big hearted, open and inviting; Marieke’s interior design complemented that with striking colours and brave forms; his gardens are sumptuous and elegant always with room to play bocce or lay out a long table for 20.

There was nothing better than being invited to the Burgers, with Marieke’s delicious cooking and Robert laughing a big belly laugh. Lively discussions and contrasting views were always in order. Sometimes we felt so lucky to be nestled in the luscious garden with an intimate table for four or with many other close friends gathered around the long table in the garden.

We will miss him and will honour his belief to never settle for less than the best.

– Nancy

In Praise of the Vespa

 

What’s not to love about those “petrol-powered centaurs”?
Nick Foulkes takes a ride in the Southern Alps


As much a part of the Italian cityscape as overpriced ice cream and historic architecture, the Vespa is one of the great visual (and aural) signs that you have arrived in Italy. Gathering in swarms like their namesake insect, these petrol-powered centaurs bring a new dimension to motoring south of the Alps. A few years ago I was on assignment for the Sunday Times, driving a Bentley down from Portofino to the Amalfi Coast. It is the kind of fearless reporting that I go in for and I needed to screw my courage to the sticking-place when confronting one of the great features of Italy’s minor roads: the Piaggio Ape.

 


‘The Ape is a Vespa over which someone has placed a large bread tin with a windscreen and door’

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Inform Cooks | Burrata & Olive Tapenade Crostini

 

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Arne and Carissa, Inform’s Kitchen & Bath designers, are back again to share another simple yet delicious recipe. This Burrata & Olive Tapenade Crostini is sure to be a hit at any small gathering. If you missed their previous post on how to make fresh pasta from scratch, you can check it out here.

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Multidish by Maxime Ansiau for Seletti

This dish is perfect for sharing with friends and family. The homemade Crostini is a terrific base for the lush, bold flavours of the Olive Tapenade & it’s all balanced by the delicate creaminess of the Burrata Cheese melted overtop. You can even impress your guests with these fun facts…

Tapenade is a very old recipe. Then named Olivarum conditurae, it appears in Columella’s De re Rustica, written in the first century. Cato the Elder ( 234-149 B.C.) includes a recipe for Epityrum, an olive spread very like a tapenade, in chapter 119 of his “On Agriculture.”_

The word burrata means “buttered” in Italian. Burrata is now considered an artisanal cheese and maintains a premium product status even after it became more widely produced and available in the ’50s. This wasn’t always the case; it was once considered a by-product, a useful way to use up the ritagli (“scraps” or “rags”) of mozzarella in cheese factories throughout Italy.

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Knock-Offs, because “The client can’t afford the real thing”

 

Should Interior Designers specify a knock-off (furniture, lighting or any other item) because “The client can’t afford the real thing”

Take a minute to think about this: What was your most amazing project? The one that comes “Top of Mind” within a split second of me asking you that question. Ya, that one. That restaurant or bar, that amazing home, workspace or retail store. The one project that you are most proud of and is featured all over your web-site, your portfolio and your social media. It even got published in….

OK, now, imagine you’re relaxing one Sunday morning, coffee in hand, browsing your favourite design magazine and there it is. Yup, there’s a bar in__________ being featured that is exactly the same as the one that you designed for your client. The exact same floor plan, the same flooring, the paint, the seating, the tables, every single light fixture as far as the eye can see. It is an exact “replica” of what you created and it is already the most popular bar in all of__________. A raving success.

“Wow! How dare they! Those were my ideas. I spent weeks working on that concept. What kind of a person would do that?” Well sorry, but there is nothing you can do about it. It’s not like they broke the law or anything….They’re really sorry, but………….”The client couldn’t afford an Interior Designer….”

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Nancy Bendtsen | The collector.

This article was originally published in Montecristo Magazine, Winter 2013 Issue.

Slender, elegant Nancy Bendtsen is ever-attentive to any client’s presence in her Inform Interiors retail space. There are two such spaces, actually, virtually across from each other on Water Street in Vancouver’s Gastown. What she doesn’t know about the items in the store, from furniture to lighting, tableware to carpets, is not worth the knowing. And she is always happy to discuss things with a curious couple or clients who are virtually certain they know what they need, but have a few little questions before purchase. Today, Bendtsen is upstairs, among some individual pieces of furniture, mainly chairs, that form the backbone of what has, over the years, come to be her personal, and amazing, collection.

It did not start out as a conscious effort to build a collection of this aesthetic and historical scope. “Oh, no, I didn’t think of it that way at all,” she says. “We were offered a piece, called the Henna Stool, by Marcel Wanders for Cappellini. I loved it so much, but we did not take that opportunity, and to this day we still don’t have one. After that eye-opener, I looked at a couple of pieces that had not sold, and decided to keep them.” She pauses, looks around the retail space, all clean lines with a lovely open feel, even though it is full of beautiful things. “As we saw the ad hoc collection grow, we realized early on the importance to Vancouver to have such pieces of design available for people to see. When we had the opportunity of acquiring special pieces which were offered to us, we understood the importance of keeping them in Vancouver. Vancouver has been our home, and we hope that this collection will grow into a museum of design in the future. But for now, we are happy to show some of the pieces at the Inform Interiors store.” She pauses again, and quietly adds, with a smile, “We are running a store, a business, after all. That has to be part of the program.”

Continue reading on MONTECRISTOmagazine.com »

Typhoon Haiyan

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Earlier in November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan reached land in the Philippines causing widespread damage, landslides and flooding. Many of those affected were still putting their lives back together after their homeland was ravaged by an earthquake in October.

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The Red Cross has been on the ground in the Philippines since before Haiyan reached land, preparing supplies and assistance and preparing citizens for the impending storm.  Today the Red Cross continues to help those left homeless but the storm once again rebuild their lives.

 

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