Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kathleen Hamilton - Botanical Perfumery

Kathleen Hamilton, an artisan perfumer, gave last Tuesday's talk on botanical perfumery, taking us on a thorough tour of the subject, so dense in information that I would hardly know how to summarize. Fortunately, for those who attended and can't remember all the facts or for those who missed the lecture, Wikipedia has a nice, detailed article at this internet address:
It covers much of the subject matter that Ms Hamilton spoke to us about.

Dr. Hans Moller introducing the speaker
Perfume making is dense in science, human labor and, of course, the poetry of fragrances. Below is a scent laboratory, and the blotter strips used to test scents.

A fragrance pyramid which shows the complicated "structure" of a perfume

A Fragrance Chart

Enfleurage is a technique developed in 19th century France, to capture fragrant compounds from plants. A large framed plate of glass is smeared with a layer of fat and allowed to set. Petals or whole flowers are then placed on the fat and their scent is allowed to diffuse into it. The process is then repeated by replacing the spent flowers with fresh ones until the fat has reached a desired degree of fragrance saturation.

Grasse, the French perfume capital

Distillation vats in India

Flower pickers

The Indian marigold market. These "ropes" of marigolds are draped over everything.

Since antiquity, perfume bottles are their own art form

After the talk Ms Hamilton set up a table with blotter strips and samples of the scents she has created

Friday, October 15, 2010

John Fox at the Klinkhoff Gallery

I'm a bit late with this posting, but it's definitely worth getting these images up.
The first cultural outing, organized by Shirley Cohen, was our annual visit to the Walter Klinkhoff Gallery on Sherbrooke Street. This year's retrospective exhibit featured paintings by the late John Fox. Well known art historian (and wife of this marvelous artist), Sandra Paikowsky,
spoke to us about Fox's artistic trajectory, his studio practices, his teaching and enthusiasms. A true portrait of the artist.

Gallerist Eric Klinkoff introducing the speaker

Shirley Cohen making some opening remarks. Behind her, one of the large paintings from Fox's abstract period

Sandra Paikowsky

John Fox had a deep passion and abiding love for the city of Venice which he visited and where he worked for several months every year. He died in Venice, suddenly, as he was about to return to Montreal, and is buried there. Below is a painting from one of his early visits in the 1950's, followed by a painting from a later period.

Ramo di muti, Venezia

Montreal, home for most of the year, was a frequent subject for Fox

The Cleaners

His late period featured a lighter palette of ravishing colors

Sandra Paikowsky speaking with members after the talk
You can see more of John Fox's artwork at:

Other web references:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cultural Outing -- Chinese Lanterns at the Botanical Gardens

Josette Wecsu was kind enough to provide photos of last Tuesday's cultural outing, along with this note: "The cultural outing to the Botanical Gardens yesterday was great fun. We saw the magnificent Chinese lanterns and I took a few pictures for WASM. Although only 5 women attended, we had a very enjoyable lunch there and we were very impressed by the beautiful lanterns.
In the photo of our group: Audrey Hanf, Josette Wecsu, Jane Wigglesworth, Annette Wolfstein-Joseph, Jackie Rae.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Philip Szporer talk on Canadian Dance Films

President Leslie Cohen opening the new season

The 2010-2011 season began with the Jean Ford Memorial Lecture, this year delivered by dance writer and filmmaker Philip Szporer. Titled "Northern Exposures: The Development of Canadian Dance Films", Mr. Szporer treated us to a history of dance filmmaking in Canada, explaining the complexities and nuances of both media, dance and film, and showing us, through a series of film extracts, how the interaction between the two create a new art form.
His website is:

Pas de deux by Norman McLaren, one of the pioneers of dance filmmaking

Lodela by Philippe Baylaucq, an experimental dance filmmaker

Amelia by choreographer and founder of La La La Human Steps, Edouard Locke

Philip Szporer and Marlene Miller's The Greater the Weight

Shirley Cohen speaking with Philip Szporer before the lecture
The beautiful day was celebrated by everyone, including old James McGill who I passed on my way to the McCord Museum