INTERIORS 2014: Keeping it Surreal with Diane Woodward

This is an excerpt that originally appeared in Ottawa Magazine Interiors 2014. See more of Woodward’s dazzling art at The Urban Pear, where her exhibit Easter Egg Hunt is on view until April 20.

By CINDY DEACHMAN

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These three-foot-long ferocious-looking fish swim through Woodward’s studio in her Madoc home. (Photo: Rémi Thériault)

It’s hard to imagine indefatigable artist Diane Woodward leaving this world of ours. But, she says, “When I’m sick and old, I wanna see colour when I go out. I want someone to paint a room red.” In another sense, though, leaving this world — at least temporarily — is what Woodward is all about.

Let go of the white, the beige, the grey. Leave behind the vacuous and the plain. Bring on the nail-biting reds, the smiley yellows, the preposterous purples, the swirly spirals, the eye-popping checks, and the dizzying waves (and these are simply the backdrops in Woodward’s paintings). Because you mustn’t overlook — impossible to — the subjects of her work — the frogs, parrots, elephants, tigers, giraffes, and kangaroos. Generously represented are Woodward’s favourites, the zebras: she has been painting these since 1982. Oh, and the gentle lambs. They showed up in her art 28 years later. “I’ve never liked anything ‘cute,’ ” Woodward says, “But the little lambs are, and it’s true and good. When they are four days old discovering how to hop — that’s more beautiful than anything I could make.”

Walk into Woodward’s house in Madoc, 2½ hours southwest of Ottawa, and you’re bowled over, simply bombarded, by all that you see. Almost every square inch of the walls, floors, and ceilings is plastered with cacophonic patterns, leaping animals, and in-your-face portraits. Even the itty-bitty travel alarm clock by her bed has been painted with a yellow and magenta sunburst. Are you hallucinating? Is this an acid flashback? No. Rather, welcome to the world of Diane Woodward. Her decor motto: More Is Not Enough

Wander through the unusual and animated home of Diane Woodward for a glimpse of jungle animals reminiscent of post-Impressionist painter Henri Rousseau, illusionistic op-art prints that echo Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely, and intricate works that recall classical Indian painting.

 

INTERIORS 2014: Artist Jennifer Stead meditates on water at the François Dupuis Recreation Centre

This post is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared in Ottawa Magazine Interiors 2014

By PATRICK LANGSTON

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Jennifer Stead at the François Dupuis Recreation Centre (Photo: Justin van Leeuwen)

Midway along Jennifer Stead’s 160-foot water-themed sculpture, there’s an image of a boat. It’s a stylized vessel that sidesteps your efforts to determine what kind of boat it is or, depending on how long you look at it, whether it’s even a boat at all. That’s exactly what the Ottawa artist says she intended. “I wanted it as an image that wasn’t a canoe or a rowboat or anything in particular but would take you into the imaginative experience of this watery world.”

That it does. Walk along the charcoal-grey metal sculpture — called Water, it hangs down over the floor-to-ceiling windows that separate the swimming pools at the François Dupuis Recreation Centre from the rest of the building — and you’re swept away by the fish and eddies and lily pads and raindrops.

Take a virtual tour of the sculpture — and the snazzy new facility — in this gallery of photos from doublespace photography.

 

INTERIORS 2014: Ross Nicholson lights up the University of Ottawa

By PATRICK LANGSTON

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The Faculty of Social Sciences building at the University of Ottawa had to have lighting designed for after dark, which is when many students finally get down to studying (Photo: Doublespace Photography)

Light Fantastic

Next time you’re in the podium of the University of Ottawa’s splendid new Faculty of Social Sciences building, check out the wood panelling beside the six-storey living wall. It’s subtle, but the wood is lit in a mottled fashion that echoes the natural variations in the greenery near it. A gobo — a specialized lighting device — creates the mottling, and Ross Nicholson gets a bang out of the result.

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INTERIORS 2014: 6 Things We Love in Ottawa

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The Ottawa Chair: Designed by Karim Rashid for Denmark-based company BoConcept

Six Things We Love in Ottawa: this excerpt is taken from our Ottawa Magazine Interiors 2014 issue. Before getting to the main feature in the book — a look at five dazzling designs with river views, as the cover so aptly describes — we take a quick peek at some of the things that make us love Ottawa.

Start our slideshow of 6 Things We Love in Ottawa from Interiors 2014»

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A glimpse inside the garden of Diana Beresford-Kroeger

This story appeared in the June 2008 edition of Ottawa Magazine. In anticipation of Diana Beresford-Kroeger’s upcoming appearance at the Ottawa International Writers Festival, here are some highlights — and a glimpse inside her unique garden.

Excerpts from original story by Janet Uren.

Photography by Colin Rowe.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger stands beside a kingnut tree. Diana has planted several of these rare trees, known as the anti-famine tree of Canda’s First Nations people, to test their range and hardiness and to preserve their seed stocks. The apple tree (main photo) is about 100 years old and survives from the late-19th-century settlement period of this region. It still provides the family with apples for cooking and storage. Photo by Colin Rowe.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger stands beside a kingnut tree. Diana has planted several of these rare trees, known as the anti-famine tree of Canda’s First Nations people, to test their range and hardiness and to preserve their seed stocks. The apple tree (main photo) is about 100 years old and survives from the late-19th-century settlement period of this region. It still provides the family with apples for cooking and storage. Photo by Colin Rowe.

The place is called carraigliath, Gaelic for “grey stones garden.” But Carraigliath is much more than a garden. A green and living experiment conducted by a woman who believes that people must live in harmony with nature, Carraigliath also stands as a testament to what can be achieved through curiosity, imagination, and a certain untempered feistiness.

“I’ve always gone my own merry way,” Diana Beresford-Kroeger says simply.

Over time, that merry road has led Diana from her birthplace in Ireland to a 160-acre parcel of land just south of Merrickville, Ontario. Here, for some 30 years, she has laboured to transform a fragment of Canadian bush into a leafy sanctuary for rare, precious, and vulnerable trees and plants. Along the way, she has turned into a passionate communicator who, through books and articles, lectures, radio, and television, has generated a gathering current of interest and action among those who, like her, believe that human beings do not stand above or apart from nature.

Click through the following pages for more images from Diana’s garden. 


Meet Diana Beresford-Kroeger at the Ottawa International Writers Festival event Our Place in the Natural World, with J.B. Mckinnon, on Thursday, November 28. 7. p.m., Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Ave. 

URBAN DESIGN: This Hintonburg infill recently won a city urban design award — and looked great doing it (check it out!)

Hintonburg’s historic underpinnings as a working-class neighbourhood are getting a modern makeover from the Colizza Bruni Architecture team. Their sixth project in the ‘hood is a six-unit mosaic of silver and black corrugated metal. The materials echo the area’s industrial past, and the design — small and close to the street — pays homage to the neighbouring houses, but with a modern twist. This story originally appeared in Ottawa Magazine’s September 2013 “innovative infill” edition. Order your copy here

By Barbara SibbaldPhotography by Peter Fritz

Fans of Tetris will be intrigued by how six units — four single-family houses and one front-to-back semi-detached — can all fit onto an irregularly shaped 6,000-square-foot lot (the feat is especially astounding if you consider that the average suburban lot size for just one house is 5,000 square feet). The key to this particular puzzle lies in the creative approach taken by Colizza Bruni Architecture. From the choice of lot to the development process, the design to the finishing details, every aspect was carefully considered with an eye to creating livable spaces that fit in with the neighbourhood.

The houses are close to the street, like the others in this neighbourhood, with large windows that give owners access to the street action. The windows also allow passersby a sneak peek into the interiors. Photography by Peter Fritz

The houses are close to the street, like the others in this neighbourhood, with large windows that give owners access to the street action. The windows also allow passersby a sneak peek into the interiors. Photography by Peter Fritz

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GREAT SPACE: A sunny condo pays homage to Danish design and Canada’s North

This story appears in the October edition of Ottawa Magazine, on newsstands now. See more photos in the print edition. Click here to subscribe to the print or digital versions.

By Sarah Brown; Photography by Gordon King

To create this open and sunny great room, Langlois removed a wall, which originally ran parallel to the windows, because it cut off light to the living and dining rooms. The divider is a functional piece of artwork that gives some separation to the kitchen space.

To create this open and sunny great room, Langlois removed a wall, which originally ran parallel to the windows, because it cut off light to the living and dining rooms. The divider is a functional piece of artwork that gives some separation to the kitchen space.

When this 3,000-square-foot condo went on the market, the design-savvy couple took a tour and immediately recognized it was a great space. But it was also a tired space, virtually unrenovated since the 1980s and in desperate need of a serious update. And so Kenn Harper and Kathleen Lippa, who split their time between Ottawa and Iqaluit, contacted Irene Langlois to come in and take a look at their Dows Lake-area condo the moment they got possession in February. In the six months that followed, the owner of Irene Langlois Interiors would guide them through a renovation designed to pay homage to their love of Danish design and their affinity for the North.

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GREAT SPACE: A renovation inspired by the colour and architecture of the Wakefield covered bridge

This story appears in the September edition of Ottawa Magazine, on newsstands now. Click here to subscribe to the print or digital versions.

By Barbara Sibbald; Photography by Photoluxstudio.com – Christian Lalonde

The spacious ground floor deck is ideal for entertaining, while the large upper cantilevered balcony offers a more intimate outdoor space. The small balcony above the main deck is conducive to meditation and offers a forest view. The outside cedar cladding from the original cottage was reused. “We tried to recycle whatever we could,” says Rogers.

The first thing Dianne Rogers did when she bought her house on the Gatineau River some eight years ago was to walk over to Wakefield’s famous red covered bridge and scrape off a small chip of paint. That shade became a key accent in her new home and, during a major renovation a few years later, morphed into the colour focal point. The bridge itself inspired the design.

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Best Neighbourhood Enclaves 2013: Be a leader of the pack

Want to stake your claim to an enclave before it’s even built? Here are three possibilities.

Best Neighbourhood Enclaves 2013: Be a leader of the pack

(Image: courtesy of Minto)

Former CFB Rockcliffe
The Department of National Defence (DND) established a rifle range here in 1899. It gradually expanded to a 310-acre military base that DND declared surplus in 1984. On an east-end escarpment bounded by Rockcliffe and Aviation parkways, the National Research Council, and the Montfort Hospital, the site has been the subject of much discussion in the intervening years. The Canada Lands Company (CLC), a Crown corporation that now owns the land, held consultations in 2007, but work halted until a native land claim was resolved in 2011. Consultations restarted in 2012, and CLC hopes to submit a community design plan to the city in early 2014. If it’s approved, builders could start buying lots by 2016. Residents of surrounding communities are concerned that the proposed development — which might include up to 11,000 housing units — will create substantial traffic, and a new bridge over the Ottawa River might also throw a wrench in development plans. Stay tuned.

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Best Neighbourhood Enclaves 2013

Best Neighbourhood Enclaves 2013

Left: Blackburn Hamlet; Right: Rothwell Heights

When residents of metropolises talk up their towns, the conversation invariably centres not on the entire city, but on their little pieces of paradise within the greater whole. After all, once a city reaches a certain size, it becomes impossible to know it all equally well. As Ottawa hits the one million mark, it, too, has reached the turning point, becoming a city made up of many distinct enclaves — vibrant (and often well-hidden) micro-neighbourhoods with unique histories and personalities developed through time and geography. For this edition of Ottawa Magazine’s much-anticipated annual real estate guide, our urban explorers toured the city from corner to corner, seeking out residential districts with a difference. As the buying season heats up, they present a diverse list of 20 enclaves worth discovering.

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