Sometime the Art Touches You, Sometimes You Get to Touch the Art

Spent a lovely afternoon in the East End yesterday – had a great meeting with the AD of Atrium Theatreand we’re going to work together on a couple of things. Then I trundled off with my friend Colette toPentimento Gallery to see what John had up on the walls.

Never disappointed. John was delighted to see us and talk to us about the current exhibition, Duet – sculpture by Haydn Llewellyn Davies and paintings by Eva Koller Davies.

Mr Davies may be known to you for the 2005 dispute with Lambton College in Sarnia, which tore down his outdoor sculpture, Homage, claiming the sculpture was a danger to children who attempted to climb on it.Created in 1974 of red cedar, it was his first public commission — won over more than 100 other artists in an international competition. Davies sued the college for than $1 million over the destruction of his artwork, saying it was a violation of his rights as an artist and a cause of “emotional distress.”

He won. He’s done something marvelous with the money.

All the pieces in the gallery are obviously model sizes of these giant works – there’s a beautiful feeling the tension in them – like they’re all being held together by a breath. You can see Japanese influence, you can see Stonehenge influences.What do I like most about him? That he resigned as senior vice-president and director of McCann-Erickson Advertising in 1976 at the age of 55 to become a full-time sculptor. To leave at the top of your game because you`ve succeeded and on to the next thing is truly admirable. To me, anyway.

I always stand with my hands clasped behind my back in sculpture galleries – something about them makes we want to touch them, the feel the smoothness of a curve, or the sharpness of an edge, to get the sense of heft of something. John asked why i was standing that way and I explained – and he said I could touch the art. Happy me. It adds another dimension of experience to the work.

Plus when we go visit during the week, John is usually alone in the gallery and so he has time to talk, really talk about the work, and the artist behind it – things that make them a human being (fun fact – Haydn and Eva met when they were children, selected to attend very special art classes at OCAD. At the time of his death, they`d been married 60 years.) We`re lucky to have that opportunity to essentiall yhave a personalized tour of a gallery and its work.

It`s always a treat to visit John and Pentimento. I learn something every time I go, whether it`s about the current show, the last show or a showdown on the set of something. Lovely day indeed.


More Birthday celebration photos!

Just received these additional images from Eva's 87th! It was a wonderful afternoon filled with friends, family and memories!

Globe and Mail Review for DUET

Haydn Llewellyn Davies and Eva Koller Davies at Pentimento Gallery

Until Feb. 26, 1164 Queen St. E., Toronto; pentimento.ca

Two pioneers of Canadian abstraction brought together in one space. Pioneers, but not fossils. This work is as lively today as it will be in 10 years. Teachers, set up your student tours.


Happy Birthday To Eva!

Thanks to the many friends and clients who joined us on Sunday to celebrate the 87th Birthday of Eva Koller Davies! I know it meant a lot to Eva and to those of us around her. Here are some snaps from that afternoon.


On exhibition at Pentimento until February 26th are the works of Haydn Llewellyn Davies and Eva Koller Davies. Both Eva and Haydn were chosen as young children by Lismer of the Group of Seven to attend his art classes at what is now OCAD and the AGO. After an incredibly successful career in advertising ultimately ending with a Vice Presidency at McCann Erickson Advertising Hayden left that world to fulfill a lifelong dream of working as a sculptor. His works have been influenced by his travels to Japan and the far east as well as his homeland in Wales. Haydn's works have been part of the landscape of Toronto from the 1970's until the present. His work can be seen in Trinity Square, Toronto.
Eva worked in a career as a display artist and consultant for Toronto's most prestigious retailers of the 60's-80's...Eaton's, Simpson's, Hudson's Bay Co. etc. During the war years Eva drew Captain Marvel for Marvel Comics.
To read more about the wonderful lives and works of these seminal Toronto artists please visit their websites at www.haydndaviessculptor.com and evakollerdavies.com.