• Photographer Selwyn Pullan
    Guest Post, Other | Published on October 6, 2017

     

    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.



  • Art al Fresco
    Guest Post, Staff Picks | Published on August 25, 2016


    Equestrian statue of Ranuccio Farnese by Francesco Mochi, in Piazza Cavalli, Piacenza

     

    Everyone can feast on Italy’s al fresco banquet for the soul

     

    In Italy, art is definitely not confined to the museums and the churches. It is everywhere. A house opposite the church od Sant’Eustachio in Rome, more or less round the corner from the Pantheon, in the very heart of the city, still retains quite substantial elements of the frescos applied to its façade by Taddeo Zuccaro in the second half of the sixteenth century.

     

    Most of the al fresco art that surrounds one is sculpture. In our health and safety/conservation-fixated age, the idea of masterpiece taking their chance in the open may indeed seem foolhardy, but the fact is that they have survived remarkably well over the centuries. It is true that three pieces were broken off the left arm of Michelangelo’s David during an anti-Medicean rebellion in Florence in 1527, and rescued by two young artists, Giorgio Vasari – of Lives of the Artists fame – and his friend Francesco Salviati. More generally, however, the sheer weight of large-scale marbles and bronzes means they are hardly likely to be pinched by even the most determined thieves. On the contrary, the most common reason for any such disappearances is a forgivable desire to protect such works from the elements.

     

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  • In Praise of the Vespa
    Guest Post, Other | Published on May 17, 2016

     

    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 | ¿Que Paso, Taco? by Drew Dunford
    Event, Guest Post, Kitchens & Bath | Published on May 4, 2016


    Phoenix kitchen from Varenna

    In Mexico, taco culture is a way of life. A unifying factor and daily staple for people of all social and economic levels. Mexicans eat them so much and so often that the expression echarse un taco (to grab a taco) is synonymous with the very act of eating. Case in point: the average Mexican consumes 135 pounds of tortillas a year. If and when you find yourself in Mexico (and many regions of the USA), you’ll find taco stands of all description gracing practically every street corner, town square and roadside rabble. These are gathering places: young and old, rich or poor, day or night—it doesn’t matter. Because tacos, chico.

     

    At its most basic level, a taco is some kind of cooked filling lovingly ensconced by a tortilla made of nixtamal (masa dough—another subject for another time). The variety of fillings is dizzying: tacos al pastor (marinated and roasted pork with chunks of charred pineapple), barbacoa (lamb, slow-roasted in a pit or oven), carnitas (pork leg and ribs, braised and later seared), tacos de pescado (beer battered and deep fried white fish) and carne asada (grilled beef) barely scratches the surface of what’s out there. And that doesn’t even begin to include the scope of taco’s cousins enchiladas, gorditas, huaraches, sopes, tostadas, chilaquiles, tamales, et al. Not to mention the innumerable regional varieties, specialties, tweaks and twists. What is an aspiring taco aficionado to do? You could truly spend a lifetime exploring this one simple dish. And what a lifetime it would be.

     

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  • Golden Apples | An ode to the humble tomato, by Matthew Fort
    Guest Post, Kitchens & Bath | Published on April 22, 2016

    “If you want to love Italian cooking, you have to love the tomato.”

    I sat at a table on the platform at the station of Villarosa in central Sicily. The table was covered with a paper cloth and set with a knife, a fork, a side plate and a tumbler. I had bread and wine. A small, scrawny cat sat silently beside me. Sparrows skittered among the metal struts above me. Clouds moved shadows across the tanned and gold hillside beyond. And then came the unmistakable perfume of frying onions and bubbling tomato, rich, velvety, slightly rasping, slightly cloying, carrying the promise of flavour to coat the fat tubes of penne I was going to eat – penne con salsa di pomodoro, salsiccie e ulive. What a beautiful thing the tomato is, I thought.

    Tomatoes: round, squat, tomatoes like gurning faces, plum-shaped, plum-sized tomatoes, grape-shaped, grape-sized, tomatoes the size of baking potatoes. Tomatoes red, orange, green, reddish-orange streaked with green. Shiny, perfect tomatoes, tomatoes cracked and fissured. There are fresh tomatoes, dried tomatoes and tinned tomatoes. There’s polpa, passata, concentrato, doppio concentrato, and ‘strattu, Sicily’s extreme tomato paste. There’s sugo (straight tomato sauce), ragu (tomato and meat sauce) and sugo al carne (tomato sauce in which hunks of pork, veal and/or beef, have been quietly stewed, allowing the meat juices to quietly permeate the vegetable mass). There are even sauces made by roughly chopping raw tomatoes. The culture surrounding tomatoes in Italy surpasses anything in the food universe for variety, ingenuity, and splendour, subtlety and downright deliciousness. ‘It is the lifeblood of Italian food’, writes John Dickie in Delizia, an iconoclastic analysis of Italian food, ‘– some would say of Italians themselves.’

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  • Knock-Offs, because “The client can’t afford the real thing”
    Design Information, Guest Post, Other, Staff Picks | Published on July 28, 2015

     

    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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  • Guest Post: Designer Trends with Nancy Bendtsen by Terrys Blinds
    Design Information, Guest Post | Published on December 4, 2014

     

    Nancy Bendtsen is a design & project manager at Inform Interiors, based in Canada and is currently working on the nearby Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver, a designer’s dream project. Having being exposed to design by her mother at an early age, Nancy has a lifelong passion for design that she has utilised to identify new design concepts and the latest trends within interior design. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, as well as the prestigious and renowned Paris Ecole des Beaux Arts. So we are pleased to share with you the creative trends of Nancy Bendtsen.

     

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  • Guest Post: Designer Insights with Nancy Bendtsen by Terrys Blinds
    Design Information, Guest Post, Staff Picks | Published on August 27, 2014

    Nancy Bendtsen is part of the design & project management team at Inform Interiors, based in Vancouver, Canada. Nancy was introduced to design at an early age by her mother, this sparked a lifelong passion. She went on to attend the Paris Ecole des Beaux Arts as well the University of Toronto. Then along with Niels Bendtsen owner of Inform Interiors, she helped to shape the growth and direction of the company. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Nancy Bendtsen.

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