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Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful cont...Art Graphix

by Adrienne - 2 Comment(s)

Okay so it's been quite awhile since I have written a blog in the Bleak, Bizarre and Beautiful vein. In the interim I am happy to report that we at CPL have chalked up a considerably new awesome stock of graphic novels in! Herein are reviews of some of the best graphic novels that have crossed my path over the past few months. They are what I consider to be original in format, art and story;

Here be the latest: ART GRAPHIX!!!

Chopsticks: [A Novel] in pictures & news clips is a mystery that leaves you with plenty of questions. This beautiful new art book/ graphic novel written by Jessica Anthony (who also wrote The Convalescent), photographed and designed by Rodrigo Corral.

Page by Paige is a fun quick read of Paige Turner's adventures in her sketchbook after her family moves to New York. The images and text detail her journey towards becoming an artist. Inventive and profound whilst remaining light, Paige and her friends stir things up a bit as unconventional graffiti-ists "The Agents of Whimsy". Each Chapter is headed up with a new "rule"; rules that will help any aspiring artist to fill up the Page (or just adjust to a new school...)!

How would you use a camera to communicate your view of yourself and the world around you? How do you think your friends would? Please Read (if at all possible) The Girl Project by Kate Engelbrecht is a compilation of photographs and survey submissions that gives snapshot glimpses into the lives of REAL teenage girls... as Not seen on TV. The author of this book speaks to girls, "3 years ago I became fascinated by popular depictions of you. I didn't recognize you. Bratty. Slutty. Spoiled. Vapid. Mean - even vicious.... I didn't see myself in you or even relate to you. After all, I didn't know any teenage girls anymore, and like so many adults, I understood you only through the media...I started the girl project as a way to explore my questions and confusion.. This project has become less about my curiosity of you and more to do with making sure your lives get shared. Your lives are in fact deeply meaningful... I hope you see yourself somewhere in these pages and feel reassured that, in this world, you are not alone."

Cathy's Book by Stewart/Weisman/Brigg is an epistolary (book written in diary format) complete with doodles. pictures and notes inserted. This is one of those books that I picked up to read for five minutes and didn't put down until someone else walked in to the room and I realized what time it was... A fast paced action adventure with an ArtGrrl twist plus plenty of mystery and philosophy on the side. It also features a website and ph# you can call to enhance the story! MY favourite quote from the book reads, "Without us, the world is just things, Cathy. It's our seeing that fills them with meaning. To pay attention is a painter's sacred duty. That's what real prayer is, real meditation: to hold your attention to the world like a match, until it catches with the fire of meaning."

Last but not least Timbuktu based on the novel written by Paul Aster - adapted and illustrated by Julia Goschke - with beautiful paintings and sparse text. Told from Mr. Bones' point of view after his homeless former master passes a way and Mr. Bones tries to adjust to his new life (incidentally, Mr. Bones is a dog). Poignant and real, it brings a different perspective on the freedom of homelessness and a dog's loyalty as he learns, "..that memory was a place, a real place that one could visit, and that to spend a few moments among the dead was not necessarily bad for you, that it could in fact be a source of great comfort and happiness."

Happy Reading!

This photography really speaks to me...

by Jocelyn - 0 Comment(s)

The Central library just got more beautiful.

And Speak is the reason why. Speak? you ask. Yes, Speak, I say. Speak is the mesmerizing new show of student photography from Calgary’s Sir John Franklin school, which is on public display at Central on the 2nd floor until April 28.

These stunning photographs look like they belong on book covers. There are many different types of photographs – photographs of people, of objects, of landscapes, and of old machinery. Some are action shots, some are stills. Some are realistic, and some are distorted. Some are black and white, and some are in colour. All of them look as though they belong in an art gallery.

One is a mind-bending angle of what turns out to be, with a closer look at the photograph, a chain-link fence. Another is an action shot of a dancer on a rooftop. A third is of a girl’s back, with her spine and vertebrae highlighted by what appears to be paint (pictured). Yet another is a sepia-toned image of a boy hugging his knees – this photograph, entitled Bullying Sucks! is a strong visual statement on the emotional impact of bullying. Other photographs are abstract (When I look at Dreams in particular, I question whether it is of paints mixing together in water, or of an alternate world.) Freedom is where you discover is more realistic, yet whimsical –- it is clearly a portrait of a girl with balloons giving a coy look to the camera. And Everyone follows the flow is a beautiful landscape shot, in this case the landscape of a snowy world that encases a river.

You can also read about the photographs in the gallery book, located in our Teen Zone. This is where the young artists give eloquent Artist’s Statements that explain their work. Be sure to check out these beautiful images next time you check out books at the Central Library!