This mesmerizing photo series depicts the isolated stillness of transit passengers from the outside looking in. The work by London-based street photographer Nick Turpin is aptly titled Through a Glass Darkly.
Turpin peered in from a distance to capture individuals as they stared out foggy windows during the winter months. Some have wiped the fog away to get a better view of the exterior while others have rested their heads against the glass for a nap. The fuzzy profiles of men and women, young and old, is indistinct. As a result, viewers are invited to invent stories and interpret the scenes based on only what we can distinguish through the haze.
Needless to say, Vancouverites should find the works strikingly familiar. More here.
by Grady Mitchell | All things artisanal are in high demand these days, but few craftspeople can say they’ve been at it as long as Ken Diamond. Since 2002 he’s been bent over hunks of leather in his workshop, meticulously cutting, sewing and glueing them into beautifully handcrafted pieces that are each one of a kind.
Ken took a nine month course in upholstery when he first arrived in Vancouver. After plying that trade, he moved into building sets and props for theatre and film, and it was there that he first handled leather. His upholstery background gave him a basic grasp of the work, and the rest he taught himself. And he’s still learning every day at his workbench. Although he enjoyed set design, he was less fond of the film industry. He’d always dreamt of launching his own business, and not long after he started working with leather he founded Ken Diamond.
Perhaps best known for their line of moccasins, the company also offers items that will hold your cards, cash, and secure your pants. Every piece that leaves the workshop is hand-made by the man himself, his wife Marla, and his apprentice Lukas. What machines they do use are of the old-school, press-and-punch variety. And they plan to keep it that way.
Although their popularity would handle speedy growth, Ken plans to keep things small, to continue building by hand, and to grow slowly rather than burn out. That care and patience is what makes his work so excellent. You can see it firsthand if you visit their open storefront at 756 E Powell, where you can check out the goods personally, and watch them being made just a few feet away in the back room. To learn more about Ken Diamond, visit his website.
by Grady Mitchell | If you frequent coffee shops around East Van, you’ve probably seen artist Sean Karemaker intently hunched over drawing in a notebook or sketch pad. He got started as a kid, growing up “off the grid” on Vancouver Island. “I turned my closet into a little comic studio,” he says. The comics led to painting – “I wasn’t very good at sports, so I started doing watercolour courses with a bunch of old ladies” – and from there, things kept rolling. “I guess I haven’t really stopped.”
Many of Sean’s ideas start as scribbled passages in those sketchbooks, each paired with an aimless painting. Those poetic snippets usually detail a remembered experience or worldly observation. From these early concepts Sean will later create his larger, more involved pieces.
Even if the words don’t appear in the final piece, it wouldn’t exist without them. For a picture to speak to Sean, it has to tell a story. “Sometimes people aren’t looking for that, they just want an image,” he says. “But without that exploration it just feels flat to me, it doesn’t feel like I’m making anything meaningful.”
The final form of those stories take many different shapes. Of course, he’s painted on traditional canvases and created comics, but he’s experimented with other forms as well. For one project, The Life of People, he detailed the span from birth to death over an uninterrupted 27-foot scroll. Most recently he’s begun using epoxy and rubber mouldings to build detailed, 3D dioramas where his characters emerge from their wild backgrounds.
While investing personal stories into his work was daunting at first, it soon became the core of his art. Pouring himself into the work allowed others to relate and connect, which for him is exactly the point of making art in the first place. That’s why, if you see him working in a coffee shop somewhere, you should never hesitate to say hello. He tries to leave the studio at least once a day to sync back in with the real world. He loves when curious onlookers ask him about his work. “You get a lot of energy off of people,” he says. To see more of Sean’s work, visit his website.
by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!
DELICIOUS | Ever wondered what 54,000 lbs of apples looks like? Head out to the UBC Botanical Gardens for Apple Festival this weekend and find out! Not only will there be apples galore, but you can also expect apple pie, hot apple cider, caramel apples, apple chips, and organic BC apple juice. Master Gardeners will be available to discuss apple-related diseases and pest management with those of you who have trees at home, plus there will be trees to take home and plant in your own garden.
Oct 18 + 19 | 11am to 4pm | UBC Botanical Garden | $4 (kids free) | DETAILS
DRAW | The Stanley Park Ecology Society invites you down to the Pavilion to get creative by using the park’s taxidermy collection for a sketching session. Register in advance for “Drawing From Life and Death” so that organizers can ensure an adequate supply of charcoal, pastels and sketching paper. This event is geared toward a 16+ audience.
Thu, Oct 16 | 6-8pm | Stanley Park Pavilion (610 Pipeline Rd.) | $19 | DETAILS
COSTUME CATWALK | Don’t land yourself in the costume isle at Shopper Drug Mart at 6pm on Halloween night. There are more than enough sexy witches and bloody zombies on the block. Get creative! If you need a little help coming up with a truly impressive Halloween outfit, consider taking Value Village up on their offer to get you sorted out. The massive thrift store on Hastings will be hosting free Costume Catwalk fashion shows every Thursday at 3pm in October (complete with creepy music). These will showcase some of the wackiest outfits on the rack. Although this event is clearly geared toward people who don’t have to work during the day, it might be worth taking a late lunch for as VV also has Costume Consultants (yup, that’s a thing) available to coach you on what wig goes best with which muumuu; how to transform a sequin dress into a space suit; and which isle you can reasonably expect to score some sweet leather cowboy chaps from.
Thu, Oct 16, 23, 30 | 3-3:30 pm | Value Village (1820 E Hastings St) | DETAILS
ART | The Equinox Gallery, located amidst a cluster of contemporary art galleries in the East Van area known as ‘The Flats’, is using its massive square footage to show off the works of local legend Gordon Smith this week. Smith’s work is impactful anywhere, but here one will be able to stand back and really take it in. It should be noted that Equinox is also a stone’s throw from Beta5 chocolate and pastry shop and there’s nothing like a cream puff to get your art appreciation rolling.
Now-Oct 25 | Tue-Sat 10-5 | Equinox Gallery (525 Great Northern Way) | DETAILS
CLASSICAL | An argument can be made for Brahms and Chopin perfectly capturing the spirit of any season, but there’s just something about autumn that seems to lend itself particularly well to the gentle drama of their music. Embrace the changing season with an evening concert that includes Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E Minor performed by the VSO and conducted by Joshua Weilerstein with pianist Adam Golka.
Oct 17-18 | 8pm | Chan Centre (6265 Crescent Rd., UBC)| $25-40 | DETAILS
SHIPWRECKS | In 1845, two British boats headed to the Canadian Arctic to chart the Northwest Passage never to return. Many search parties were dispatched to learn the fate of Captain Franklin and his crew of 128 men, but it wasn’t until 2014 that a discovery was made. The Vancouver Maritime Museum and the HR MacMillan Space Centre have joined forces to bring Marc-Andre Bernier, chief of the underwater archaeology team for Parks Canada to give a talk about the remains of the Franklin Expedition this Thursday night (this is the dude who found the Franklin Expedition). Lost and Found: Arctic Shipwrecks and the Franklin Expedition takes place at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre on Thursday evening and promises to be an informative and compelling talk about challenges and triumphs of something as complicated as underwater archaeology in the chilly waters of the Canadian Arctic.
Oct 16, 7-9 pm | H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut) | $22 | DETAILS
DUMPLINGS | Cool, damp autumn weather calls for comfort food. Homemade dumplings fit the bill. Not versed in the art of stuffing, folding or cooking the delicate bundles? No matter. The Hua Foundation is a local organization dedicated to strengthening connections with culture, heritage and sustainability and they’re hosting a series of cooking classes on how to prepare traditional Chinese dishes that are locally sourced, healthy, and “approved by Grandma.” This Saturday, they cover dumplings. Get schooled on the whole process. Extra cool bonus: you leave with a bag of dumplings. Space is limited, so don’t wait to grab tickets: www.huafoundation.org
Oct 18 | 11am–2pm | Hua Foundation (418 East Hastings) | DETAILS THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
SHOP HOP | The Gastown Fall Shop Hop happens this Thursday night. The one-night-only event offers Vancouverites the opportunity to cruise 54 of Gastown’s best shops, check out all of the new Fall wares, and be treated to great deals, in-store specials and the occasional treat (read: glass of sparkling wine).
Thu, Oct. 16 | 5pm–9pm | Various locations | FREE to browse | DETAILS
CONNECT | The Sustenance Festival is a series of fantastic food-related events held by the Vancouver Parks Board. They’re designed to connect local communities to the concept of food security. During Sustenance 2014, you can learn about wild and edible mushroom identification, take pickling and canning classes, attend gardening talks, sit in on cheese-making and gluten-free baking workshops, dance a Harvest Dance, taste tea – the works. The theme for this year’s festival is “Making Connections and Building Relationships”, so expect to get social.
Now – October 19 | City of Vancouver Community & Recreation Centres | DETAILS
SHROOMS | A modest hike in local forests can yield some delicious results but it should be remembered that going off-trail and eating mushrooms without proper identification are both very dangerous activities. So be sure to arm yourself with intel. This weekend brings two opportunities to hang out with fungi experts. Whistler and The Sunshine Coast are both hosting mushroom festivals. The Fungus Among Us Festival in Whistler happens Friday night and Saturday, while the Sunshine Coast Mushroom Festival spreads itself across the entire weekend. Both festivals will bring you up to speed on how to spot edible mushrooms in the wild, which fungi to avoid and how to best prepare your mushrooms.
WHISTLER | Oct 17 + 18 | DETAILS
SUNSHINE COAST | Fri, Oct 17 – Sun, Oct 19 | DETAILS
Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.
We’ve invited Kitsilano retail icon gravitypope to join our GOODS program as a recommended place to slip into something more comfortable. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We thank them for their support and for making Vancouver a more stylish place to be.
(via) A cruel prankster in a quiet, family-oriented San Francisco neighbourhood recently put up a very convincing but entirely fake liquor license application notice on a shuttered business frontage indicating that the space was slated to become a Hooters.
Naturally, such a development would cause no small amount of consternation among the locals, which got us thinking that it might be a cruel but effective way to desensitize Vancouver’s worst NIMBYs to the threat of anything new or different.
Imagine the outrage if notices went up declaring the imminence of a needle exchange in Shaughnessey, a Prada flagship store on the DTES, a Whole Foods on Commercial Drive, or an Earls restaurant overlooking Gassy Jack Square in Gastown.
Granted, none of the above is an appropriate fit, but that’s the idea. Once people were let in on the farce(s), real conversations might replace the usual knee-jerk fury, self-righteousness and Gollum-like possessive psychosis that is the NIMBY norm in Vancouver’s neighbourhoods (for richer or poorer), and the prospect of future change could be examined more rationally with raised eyebrows instead of pitchforks.
The GOODS from Music Direction
Vancouver, BC | The crew over at Music Direction had the pleasure of working with the team at Aburi Restaurants on the music program for the recently opened Gyoza Bar on West Pender Street. The result is a savoury and optimistic mix of foot-tapping mid- and uptempo goodness to accompany their amazing gyoza and ramen dishes. Tracklist after the jump… Read more
by Grady Mitchell | ”Wood has spirit in it,” says Sam Clemens, one half of the duo behind Hobo Woodworks. Along with his brother and business partner, Lenny, Sam imbues the old spirit of reclaimed wood a new life through the finely crafted goods they build in their East Vancouver workshop.
The Hobo philosophy was largely influenced by their parents, who came up to Canada in the 60s from Southern California as part of the DIY hippy movement of that era. His mother worked as a cocktail waitress until they could afford their first hide, at which point they began their leather working business. Growing up in the Slocan Valley, the boys played with saws and hammers, and learned to live by the work of their own hands.
Before launching Hobo in 2012, Sam and Lenny built sprawling mansions for West Van millionaires. Disenchanted with that work, the brothers started their own venture, something more aligned to the values instilled in them as lifelong west coasters.
Now they use only local, responsibly and sustainably sourced materials. As a result, every Hobo piece is a beautiful hybrid of new and reclaimed wood. As word got out, people have started bringing them leftover wood (one guy even bringing a load of well-loved timber during our visit). It’s natural for people to stop by. When the workshop’s garage door slides up it becomes a storefront. The Hobo boys hope to make their workshop a community hub where friends and passersby can drop in to chat anytime, and see their process firsthand. They can also, if they ask nicely, ride the back room mini-ramp or hone their archery skills.
To learn more about Hobo Woodworks, check out their site.
In this fascinating, highly personal short film that’s completely unstaged and shot mid-run, Rob Krar shares his battle with depression while going hell for leather up and down the Grand Canyon.
The GOODS from Cavalier
Vancouver, BC | The watch you wear speaks volumes about your style. It can act as a genuine timepiece or as an accessory to just about any outfit. Starting at $500, the Nivrel collection has styles that can be worn with almost any outfit. Watch connoisseurs of all kinds will appreciate the sophisticated movements and style that has been ever-evolving since 1936. Having recently travelled to Germany, we stopped in Saarbrücken to visit the Nivrel factory and we made sure to pick up some limited edition, one-of-a-kind timepieces. Come in and take a look! Read more
by Grady Mitchell | Artist Rebecca Chaperon builds worlds. “I’m obsessed with a sense of place,” she says. “If I don’t have a sense of place when I’m working on a painting, everything else doesn’t feel natural.” The places she creates are not ones you’ll find on a globe, even if they’re inspired by them. In her last major series, Antarticus, she concocted an alternate reality where translucent icebergs float like ghosts upon pastel oceans, disembodied hands reach from black portals, and rainbow confetti flutters through the air.
With Antarticus she sought to conflate two very different real-world places: Mauritius, the pinprick tropical island off Madagascar where her father was born, and antartica, as conjured from letters written by her uncle while he led expeditions there in the 70s. Hence, you’ll see icebergs sailing past tropical islands and palm trees sprouting from tundra. That imaginative streak is inspired largely by her early years in England, where she lived until age 8, playing in the small garden in front of her family’s home.
Her next series, Eccentric Gardens, centers on another fully-formed world, but this time Rebecca changed the process of building it. Rather than the planned approach she’s taken in the past, she took a more intuitive method, a way of ‘discovering’ the landscapes as she painted them.
So was releasing that control scary? “Hell yes,” she says. “Everything felt almost dumb because I’m so used to over-analyzing. I just had to move forward through the pieces, all the elements had to talk to each other and I had to get out of the way. It’s a return to this childish way of picture making, you’re really direct, responding to what’s there, not thinking about it too much. But to do that as an adult is very difficult. To pretend, for a moment, that you’re a kid. You’re just enjoying making something, and it doesn’t have to be anything.”
The Eccentric Gardens exhibition, which will run at Initial Gallery from October 24 to November 15 with a reception on Oct 28, won’t just allow people to view Rebecca’s work, but also the chance to step inside one of her paintings. One wall will be painted in her landscape style, and certain elements from her paintings have been turned into sculptures that will furnish the room. To learn more about Rebecca and her work, visit her site.
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | Introducing Guilty Pleasures at the Biltmore Cabaret – a new monthly party packing all the retro chart toppers and forgotten gems from the 80s, 90s, and Y2Ks into one night. The special launch party on Thursday, October 9th features guest DJs Hannah Georgas, Darcy Hancock (of Vancouver indie favourites Ladyhawk), Jeff Inness (of High Ends/ Yukon Blonde), Adam Fink (Gang Signs), and the notorious Gal Pal DJs (of F.R.I.E.N.D.S). Cover is free to 10pm, or post the song you’ve got to hear for guest-list for you and a friend all night long. RSVP on Facebook for more info, and email rsvp [at] biltmorecabaret.com for large group requests. Read more
The Vancouver Lexicon – our A-Z dictionary of local slang, myths, legends, and such – might appear to be complete, but we mean to keep adding to it every week. Today we aim to highlight five more localisms that everyone in British Columbia should know about, that is if they don’t already. They are Umbrella Slalom, Vintagee, Fold Your Fifty, Spice, and McBarge.
(via) We’re digging the look and functionality of Liverpool’s outdoor Constellations Bar, which is much more than just a bar. It also sports a food truck, art space, cinema, and community garden. It got us thinking how cool it would be if Vancouver’s residential neighbourhoods each had a get-together hub that operated similarly.
Can you imagine a multi-purpose installation like this on the periphery of Vanier Park, David Lam Park, or Strathcona Park? Wouldn’t it be a thing of civic beauty if the Parks Board took this approach to its concessions and partnered with local craft breweries, farmers markets, community organisations, and food trucks?
On the design, which is remarkable in and of itself…
The structure is supported by a set of ten ‘quadrapods’ – doubled A-Frame supports -made from green oak. These have a duel function, as each one incorporated bench seating or a table. These quadrapods carry the load of the canopy via glue-lam beams, which project form the roof to form a wing-shaped rainspout. The courtyard garden is populated with green oak furniture, conceived as a set of tessellating components, and planted one-tone builders bags. These are easily movable, allowing the space to be reconfigured to accommodate the rolling program of arts events, performance, cinema screenings and a market.