Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Grief," observed

Dh & I spent this morning at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I hadn't been there in at least five years, maybe 10 -- before the latest renovation/expansion -- and I don't know a whole lot about art -- but I enjoyed seeing old favourites (hello, Tom Thomson and Group of Seven!), special exhibits (Emily Carr, you were amazing) and new discoveries.

In the centre of one of the gallery rooms, with paintings crowding the walls, was a small bronze sculpture. I gave it a glance, and the title caught my eye. It was called "Grief" and I moved in for a closer look. "Look!" I hissed at dh. "It's called 'Grief.'

We both stared at it for a few moments.

It was a woman. Looking down at her (flat, non-pregnant) belly.

This link says it's from the National Gallery of Canada (which is in Ottawa), but we saw it at the AGO -- on loan, perhaps? The artist's name is Frances Loring.

I was taken aback to see it. 

But it was beautiful.


  1. Wow. It's both beautiful and haunting. The way her feet are wrapped in waves of bronze makes we wonder about the emotions the artist is conveying. I have my thoughts, but would love to pick her brain.

  2. That's beautiful. I want to see it in person.

  3. Wow! That's beautiful. It's amazing how many emotions that a chunk of metal can show.

  4. The best part about art is that it reflects our own feelings. I would have seen it as a loss of a baby, too. But Googling around for info about the statue, it appears to have been about the war ("Grief (1918), for instance, is a small bronze sculpture of a woman slumped over in grief, arms loose and head hanging. Given the date of the piece, one imagines the woman has just received news that her husband or brother died in the First World War." I guess that is based on her collective work and the subject of other pieces.

    But does it really matter? You know? Because I saw the same thing you saw.

    1. Wow, that's interesting, Mel, and it does make sense. I did some Googling myself, but more to find the image -- I saw the date but I didn't put 2 & 2 together. But as you say, it's all open to interpretation, isn't it? ;)

  5. Beautiful. I think a sculpture like that enables us to get what we need to get from it. Though it's obvious what most of us took from it.

  6. What an image...and fascinating discussion as well about art and our interpretation of it.

  7. Stunning, and interesting how the physical posture of grief is rather universal. I was gluttonously excited that "we" are represented in the art world (dare to dream!) until I read the google research above. Lest I get carried away......But grief is grief and it's a riveting piece just the same.