Having a designated thinking place, and scheduling the time to go there, helps shape thinking. Over the years, have tried to follow this practice-individually and jointly -with different groups. 2019- marked the third consecutive year, when I stayed in Ontario-Canada. We went for a walk to Art Gallery of Ontario- and saw a special exhibition of paintings of Rubens- his works reflecting the changes in Europe during the 1400s- and the many currents with Reformation and Counter-Reformation.
MUSEUMS WITH CHILDREN.
Being part of an Art museum is different from say a science museum, zoo, or general museum.
Over the years we have been part of a General Museum- (Royal Ontario Museum) , a zoo (The Toronto Zoo) , a science Museum (Ontario Science centre) and the Art museum (Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Hamilton).
My father -Prem Narain- first took me to museums, in the early 1970s, just as his father Bhawani -took him to different trade fairs and museums. We also prayed in some of the temples where our forefathers have prayed- the Jakhoo temple of Shimla region, the Bilu Kedar and Dhari-Devi temples of Srinagar region-of Uttarakhand and the Hanuman Temple of Connaught Place-Delhi region and the Parvati templ of Pune region.
As we read the narratives of Rubens stay in Italy and then his shift back to Antwerp, we recalled the journeys of Caravaggio from Italy to Malta. Or the Dr.Bhau Daji Lad (formerly Victoria and Albert ) and Chatrapati Shivaji Sangrahalya (formerly Prince of Wales) Museums of Delhi region- in which there are very interesting dioramas of different travelers and migrants from distant lands -like present day Iran, Greece, Portugal- who made Western India their home.
One of the paintings of Rubens, which has been analyzed in great detail is-Massacre of the Innocents.
Different painters have interpreted this Biblical theme- in which Kind Herod massacred all male children when he came to know that Christ has been born.
As a thinking exercise- the curators have sourced the original images which served as an inspiration for Rubens for this figures in the paintings
DEVELOPING THE HOME LIBRARY
In the past year, we have added some books from the Tom Thomson collection (My father communed with objects- his son writes in the introduction- and how he developed many interesting relations due to these communions). We went granular on the Impressionism in the age of Industry exhibition of AGO, and saw different constructions going on in the GTA region in a new light due to this exhibition. The highway expansion at Ford -QEW-403 junction-between Mississauga and Oakville is one such area.
On art themes-the book-The Anatomy lesson of Dr.Tulp, by Rembrandt-and the novel by Nina Siegal, in which she traces the life of the subject-Aris Kindt and the methodology and philosophy of Rembrandt-is an addition to the home library.
In the winter break- we went to see some special exhibitions- (Wild life photographer of the year-ROM to Early Rubens- AGO) and remembered some of the other special exhibitions we have seen in 2019- (Age of Rembrandt-ROM, Jodhpur-ROM, Ipressionism in age of Industry, Brian Jungen-AGO.
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF YEAR-WINNER 2019 – Yong Ging Bao
It was also a time to look back on similar gallery walks in Malta, India, and develop our home library.
Action point- We sat together and revisited some heritage walks- like Peterborough area-Sep 2019, Thousand Islands-Gananoque- 2018, Algonquin -2017, or going back even further-Xlendi-Gozo-2010.