An evening of Art at the AGO

Kinga Potrzebowski Sketch

Lately, I’ve been feeling uninspired, uncreative & a bit lazy. There are things I need to do & things I want to & can do, but sometimes it is hard to find the motivation.  And I am out of practice with in applying my creative talents to artistic or experimental or even just purely creative endeavors.

Still, all excuses.  So last Wednesday I biked my butt down to the AGO for an afternoon of free art to get some inspiration.

Bonus life points: the AGO has free general admission on Wednesday nights.
Double Bonus life points: I can bike down to the AGO in 15 minutes from my house.


Yes, I went alone. I realized on my first trip to London that I enjoy going to Art Galleries & Museum’s solo.  If I’m with others I always feel I need to linger less, keep up a conversation & see everything. When all I really want to do is explore at my own pace, stare at the art that fascinates me for however long I wanted & skip the parts that don’t grab me at that moment.

On this visit I found myself gravitating towards the post-WW2 Canadian exhibit, post-modern & contemporary art. It was simplicity, contrast & small details that captured my fancy.

It was the new works of Indigenous artist that really made me stop & think.   Especially Travis Shillings, Fire Face.  It was a piece that was painted at the AGO during the Land Rights Now!event.   According to the accompanying plaque, “captures the passion & anger that is at the heart of the contemporary resurgence of Indigenous resistance to the legacy of colonization.”


I had no plan on this visit to the AGO.  I wandered & my wandering led me to Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard Installation.   Which had become a maze of vintage wardrobes.  At first I thought it was a real maze & was excited to see how long it would take me to make it out.  But, I once I entered the center of the “maze”, I realized that the installation was the scene of the performance art of Peter Chin entitled,  Courir d’or.  I think it was Peter’s story of feeling like an outsider in the mainstream culture of a predominantly white Toronto in 60’s that struck a chord with me & I stayed for the entire performance.  It was beautiful & it made me feel a bit verklempt.



There is a common misconception that “getting art” is a secret that is only attainable to a select few.  That not everyone can “get” art.

It is true if you know art history or have knowledge of a particular art forms technique, you do look at art differently. But, you don’t need to have this knowledge to enjoy art.   People usually use the phrase, “I appreciate art”, which just sounds so cold.  It also sounds like the line of the pretentious character in a rom-com movie or a villain in a thriller.

Yet you don’t “appreciate art”, you enjoy it.  The key to enjoyment is to approach a situation with openness, without expectation & without judgment.   And not to worry about what people expect you to see in art or interpret in its meaning, just take art in & feel the emotions it makes you feel.



2 thoughts on “An evening of Art at the AGO

  1. Peter Chin says:

    hello the Kollektive. I am glad that you connected in a good way to my performance of Courir d’Or. Thank you for mentioning it in your blog. Wishing you all the best. Peter Chin

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