Anna Hergert, Art & Design

While in Ottawa I visited Maman…

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…the giant spider that guides the way to the entrance of the National Gallery of Canada. We had a glorious day to explore our nation’s capital, toured the Parliament Buildings, climbed the Peace Tower and witnessed noon hour yoga on the Parliament Buildings Lawn (the last yoga session for the year!).

A short break at a Byward Market cafe for cappuccino restored our energy and we ventured to the National Gallery for the afternoon.

Maman (1999, Louise Bourgeois) had impressed me when I visited the first time in 2010. Yesterday I took full advantage of the lull in tourists crowding Maman taking pictures next to a giant spider leg. As I approached the monumental spider sculpture I captured her with the National Gallery as my back drop. Next I positioned myself directly under her body and angled my camera to capture the amazing line quality against the bright blue sky.  Please take note: I do not like spiders but when they are presented in sculpture form I can approach them without trepidation. This spider I don’t mind at all!

We toured the National Gallery realizing that we had missed all special exhibitions by just a few days. Many galleries were in transition with new installations in progress. None-the-less, viewing the paintings and sculptures on display including Hope I by Gustav Klimt, several Picassos, a Jackson Pollock, Mondrian, Rothko and numerous Group of Seven paintings we soon ran out of time. On the way out we bid good bye to Joe Fafard‘s Running Horses on the front lawn.

As an aside: I have to share with you that I did not enjoy the constant presence of security personnel reminding us that photography is not allowed. What a difference to Europe where flash-free photography is encouraged at all the great museums and art galleries… Instead of art images I am sharing some of the great architectural features of the building, inside and out. Enjoy!

This entry was published on September 13, 2012 at 4:06 am. It’s filed under Art, Design, Exhibition, History, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “While in Ottawa I visited Maman…

  1. Wow. Inspiring. Gives me something to plan for — a visit to these places.


  2. Hi Anna,

    I think I am too late to answer your question about Manotick. I have been busy with medical procedures (Ouch!). Manotick is a small town on the Rideau River and has historical value. The Mill has been made over to a small musem and is interesting.
    But basically it is a lovely little town that is a commuter ‘colony’ for Ottawa workers.
    Now I understand, there are many rather well-to-do homes in exclusive ‘estates areas’.
    Have a great trip Westward!


    • HI Karen,
      After your comment and we ventured to Manotick that afternoon and had a great time visiting the Mill Museum, talked with a teacher who built a cob oven with his grade 4 class and just connected with the beautiful little town. We even enjoyed one of the best late lunches on this trip at Balck Dog Bistro. Make sure to put that on your agenda when you visit Manotick!


  3. Hi Anna,
    Several years ago I visited Ottawa to do a trunk show and teach a workshop but sadly I did not see this wonderful spider, Maman. I do not care for spiders in real life either but I thank you very much for sharing this great image . When I first viewed it , the figures in Calgary came to my mind . Do you know if they were created by the same artist ? I have several photos of them as they are powerful and really spoke to me .


  4. Gosh – they’ve added some new things since I lived in the Ottawa area (Manotick). I must revisit sometime soon. Regarding photography – I agree with you that flash free shooting should be allowed. Do you think the same for quilt/quilt art shows?


    • HI Karen – What’s in Manotick, we are camping relatively close by!
      About flash-free photography at quilt shows: I am not sure if that is the same as photographing the “old masters”. Many quilt shows allow photography, in know the Quilt Museums such as LaConner (WA) and Latimer (OR) don’t put restrictions on photography. A regular quilt show often has brand new creations, and with these shows often being a juried competition it puts a slightly different spin on whether photography is allowed.
      I have no objection to disallowing photography as long as a catalogue is offered for purchase.
      Does anyone else have an opinion on this subject. Please weigh in!


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