Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sunny Quail

Each year at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, artists voluntarily donate a 6” x 6” unique artwork to support the exhibition’s fundraising effort, Art Squares. I chose to create an illustration inspired by Foster the People’s uplifting concert at Downsview Park on June 19, 2012. Tuesday evening’s performance, featuring Foster the People and local openers Tokyo Police Club, went ahead despite a tragic stage collapse that occurred before a scheduled Radiohead concert the preceding weekend. I recall merging with the migrating crowd on a long stretch of road toward The Meadow when the wreckage came into view. An aura of sombreness and foreboding hovered over us all until greeted by the up-tempo beats, captivating lyrics and impressive light show of the concert’s double feature. Midway through Foster the People’s set, Mark Foster paid a touching tribute to the late Scott Johnson, a casualty of Saturday’s incident. “We make music to bring joy to people” Foster said poignantly as he went on to describe the bonds of friendship shared between a band and its crew members while touring. Foster the People and musical guest Kimbra continued their celebration of life in grand fashion and proved yet again that music is integral to the healing process.

Foster the People formed in Los Angeles and carry many Californian sensibilities. Accordingly, my decorative painting features the state’s national bird, The California Quail. The quail is widespread and appears in the mythology and legends of numerous cultures as a symbol for a contrite spirit, communal love, victory and the hunt. I always found it quite humorous that their call sounds as though it were exclaiming, “Run, Run Run” or “The man is coming, the man is coming!”.

The expressive anthropomorphic flower gestures at the animated sun the band featured in their main act. The mood of the piece was made to reflect the positive vibes the band’s music exudes.

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