Monthly Archive: December Cana
Living in Ontario, the Blue Whale in the vast ocean may seem a distant thought from our daily lives. But our history with these animals is more intertwined than we realize - for example, would you ever use fertilizer in your garden made from blue whales? Canadians used to! Read this guest blog post by ROM Biodiversity / Blue Whale team member Katherine Ing to find out a bit more about the other ways whale products became a part of everyday life during the peak of industrial whaling, and what that means for modern global whale conservation.
One of my favorite things to think about when studying craft objects is the way in which they can teach us about the place where they were made, in both sociocultural and environmental aspects. Most often craft objects are examined from the sociocultural perspective, but the environmental perspective is important. Crafts are objects made in places, with natural resources. The story of some craft objects can teach us a great deal about the natural world and how human beings use the products of the natural world.
It can be pretty common in rural parts of Canada to find a pottery studio. Lots of Ontario cottagers have favorite potters that they visit in their cottage community. Many of the Gulf Islands in BC have at least one resident potter. Quebec has a hugely successful pottery show that draws in artists from across the province, 1001 Pots, which highlights the rural potter’s lifestyle. It is so common that it’s hard to believe that there were, at one time, pioneers of that way of life.
My second object from Newfoundland and Labrador is a contemporary piece by silversmith Michael Massie. It is a teapot, mimicking the shape of an ulu knife, with etched designs on the silver body of the pot. The handle is made of bloodwood. Massie is a contemporary Canadian artist who was born in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, in 1962. He currently lives on the island portion of the province with his family.
I’m starting my Canada 150 blogging project in Newfoundland and Labrador. Why? To start, it is the province that lies geographically furthest east, and moving east to west is an easy organizational structure. More deeply, Newfoundland and Labrador was one of the last provinces to join Confederation with Canada in 1949. The vote was contentious and the margin of victory was slim. It’s less likely now, but it once would have been possible to find older residents of the island who considered themselves Newfoundlanders first, Canadians second (if Canadian at all).
Hi! I'm Heather Read, the Rebanks Postdoctoral Fellow in Canadian Decorative Arts. In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, I’ll be writing a blog series this year highlighting interesting objects from the Canadian Decorative Arts Collection at the Royal Ontario Museum. With this series, I’ll be talking about some of the furniture, pottery, and glass that are currently on exhibition at the ROM, but I’ll also give you a peek behind the scenes into the parts of this collection that aren’t currently on display.
On June 21st, the ROM Learning Department began National Aboriginal Day celebrations with a cleansing ceremony using Sweet Grass to start the day off in a good, positive way led by Justin Chiblow, Kiowa Wind Memorial Indigenous Youth Intern.
For over a decade, the ROM has steadily acquired the work of contemporary Canadian artists who are part of the South Asian diaspora. Such collecting is important not only to provide points of context and contrast with ROM’s historical South Asian collections, but also to preserve the complexities and fullness of contemporary artistic production.
It’s that time of year where many of us are pretty focused on the holidays. Spending time with family and friends, baking and eating loads of treats, and - let’s be honest - the gifts. Finding them, buying them, wrapping them, and getting them to where they need to go, whether the destination is under the Christmas tree, or to be mailed to relatives somewhere else around the world.
So, given that everybody’s in this present-logistics state of mind, we have a gift-wrapping question for you… how do you ship a blue whale heart?