Saturday, March 29, 2008

Naked Friday

I decided that sitting in a lonely apartment all night would do me no good in the state that I was in. So instead, I opted to join a group of ladies who were planning to attend an art show being held at Chapel Arts. Located in the downtown east side of Vancouver at 304 Dunlevy, Chapel Arts is one of the city's most unique galleries/venues. A former chapel and funeral home in the Art Deco style, it has been transformed into an exquisite space for events. The elegant interior boasts grand parlours, galleries and a main room featuring a performance stage.

The show that we went to last night is called NUDE: a collaborative look at the figurative process. It was the opening night of the exhibit, which runs through until the end of April. A friend of a friend was actually one of the models who posed for a painting featured in the show. Being that she hadn't seen the painting of herself yet, it was quite exciting for her to see the finished product for the first time. There were so many incredible creations on display. We wandered around and examined the pieces, looking closely at what materials were used to create each masterpiece.

I have talked at length on this blog about my own issues with body image and the struggle to feel content, or even comfortable with my body. There is a great power in being uninhibited enough to shed your clothes and allow yourself to be painted, or photographed. I was reminded last night that every woman's body is different and beautiful in its own way. It was refreshing to see these paintings of real women-flaws and all. To see full breasts, dimpling and puckered flesh represented in this way is a departure from the photoshopped images that I am used to being bombarded with every time I open a magazine.

I always enjoy attending events like this, mostly because I find them inspiring. I also usually dig the crowd. Everyone seems quirky and interesting. If there's one thing that I've realized about myself, it's that I love the quirky ones the most. Shando and I have resolved to make it a point to attend more culturally rich events and participate in creative activities on a regular basis. Last week, we rounded up the troops and checked out the Interior Design Show. Up next? Who knows. I think one of the most important contributors to success and happiness is the ability to see qualities in others that make you feel good and make you want to do better, work hard and have the courage to try new things. Where do you find inspiration? That's the best part... it's everywhere! The question is, are you open to being inspired? Being open to inspiration is an attitude that you take on when you start your day. This an approach that I am consciously trying to apply to my life. Inspiration is everywhere when you take the time to look.


Alex said...

Looks like there was some interesting art presented at the show. I love that one on the wood. Very cool!!

Raul said...

Kudos to you for having avoided staying at home (opposite to me, actually - I did stay in on Friday night), it looks like it was an exquisite and very tasteful exhibit. I am unfortunately not able to visit the DTES very often due to the fact that I suffer a lot when I witness other people's pain, but I enjoyed vicariously through you (I could not have attended the exhibition myself).

In my humble opinion, you're beautiful both inside and outside.

Phaedra said...

I reallly want to see this gallery showing, as it sounds amazing and inspiring. Hope you are feeling better Jennifer :)

Anonymous said...

Hell yes for nudity lol. I have never been to a formal art show and would love to go. You are lucky to have a group of cultured girlfriends and the life you have. Being in a lonely apartment might suck, but really everything is in balance. You are living the Carrie Bradshaw life I always wanted a taste of.

It's strange and sort of comforting that you look so gorgeous to me in photos - so much more like a woman where I feel I photograph as a 12 year old - and yet are still insecure. I think you should strip for a day or pose for an art class.

- J @

Suzie said...

I love the art and the photos you took of it. Body image is a difficult thing to tackle for a women. I think you are beautiful and you are right, women can be sexy in different ways. Everyone has their own preference, so one should not be expected to live up to everyone's standard.

I find it quite empowering to shed my clothes on stage, I have millions of flaws but owning those parts of you allow you to come across as a sexual creature, un-inhibited and strong. YOU R HOT :)

Jennifer Stoddart said...

Thanks for all the super sweet comments, guys :)