“Winter on Elgin”
2018 Holiday Card
This card was inspired in part by the upcoming “Elgin Street Renewal” — an infrastructure overhaul which will result in Elgin Street being closed for over a year. Plans include wider sidewalks and some modest cycling infrastructure. Perhaps one of the bigger changes will be the burial of hydro lines which will see the removal of the wooden hydro poles which line the street. I have always liked the aesthetic of the hydro pole, both from the perspective of a skyline, but also from eye level as a pedestrian.
From the perspective of cityscape sketches, hydro poles can form a pattern across a scene, and help move the viewers eye across an image. On traditional main streets like Elgin they can also feel like an upper canopy of urban growth, complete with wildlife (mostly pigeons).
As a pedestrian, the older, more weathered poles are the most interesting. On main streets these poles will be covered in layers of staples, paper, rust and of course, more posters which will eventually add to the decay. These poles add another layer of urban texture to our streets, and in fact, contain a hidden archive of community events, culture, shows, notices and more. In contrast with the function of the top part of the poles, the lower part acts as a conduit for urban energy. As part of the Elgin Urban Renewal I would encourage the City to preserve at least some of the bottom portions of these poles and possibly redeploy them in a creative manner as places for posters and public notices.
Another tribute in this card is to Canada Post, with a van and postal carrier. I do all of my shipping through Canada Post and continued to use them through the rotating strike. Postal workers have a tough job, especially in a city like Ottawa in the winter, and they are indispensable for me. I regularly ship art in the mail through Canada Post and have never had any issues. Postal carriers are routinely delivering work-related parcels to my home studio. As someone who has chosen to live downtown and not own a car, I rely heavily on delivery services. Last holiday season when a postal worker knocked on my door at 7pm for a late delivery, I tried to express my gratitude by giving him a bunch of my holiday cards to pass out to his colleagues. This year I have chosen to pay a subtle tribute to Canada Post in the holiday card itself.
Keen observers will notice a few other ‘Easter eggs’ through the card.
Unfortunately I am a little behind on this card, and have limited quantities due to printing issues, they are available on my website or email me for more info