Come Up to My Room

Come Up to My Room

Gladstone Hotel
January 17-20, 2019

In its sixteenth years, Come Up to My Room - the Alternative Design Exhibition created and produced by Gladstone Hotel occupies all four floors of the building. I must admit I haven't seen the exhibition since I last wrote about it in 2006. I had two impressions then, which lasted up to this day. One, Bruno Billio's room and the pillars of books piling up all the way to the ceiling. Second, I met the elevator operator Hank Young, who is also known as Hank the cowboy. He died in 2009 at the age of 68.

Today I still find Bruno Billio's studio at room 209. Billio has been the resident artist at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto for the past 16 years. For his 16th CUTMR he has transformed it into a living room magically lit, and furniture outlined with neon lights. It feels flat, 2-D and unreal. Like walking into an animation or a video game. Coupled with loud music beats it really has created some excitement. He called it TRON209.

With or without Hank, there is no one now to operate the elevator, and visitors are encouraged to climb the stairs, to discover artwork between the floors. There are not a lot I can remember. The ones that still occupy some of my brain space are captured in these pictures.

 


TRON209 Bruno Billio


Penumbra by Chromatic Aberration | Studio 206
Becky Lauzon (glass artist), Johnny Cann (light artist) and Michael Rennick (mixed media artist).


Penumbra by Chromatic Aberration | Studio 206
Combining their craft, they seek to create narrative through shadow, interaction and sculpture.


(Femmes of Fire) always surviving, by Natalie King | 2nd floor hallway
These beautiful figures certainly possess strong influence from Fiona Smyth. Natalie King, with mixed indigenous and European ancestry, centred through a queer lens to share a multitude of queer identity stories.


Eastern Bloc (Collapse) by Georgina Lee Walker & Youri Makovski | Studio 204
I am quite fascinated by their creation of fabricated ‘carpets’. They are based on original rugs, from Iran or Europe, altered and reproduced by machine. The material is made of latex.


Eastern Bloc (Collapse) by Georgina Lee Walker & Youri Makovski | Studio 204


Water Bed by Ilze Godlevskis | 3rd floor North Corridor
A soft sculpture reminiscing the dream world of water, confined in a plexiglass bed frame. A dynamic design through artisanal making methods and textile arts.  


Our Desires Fail Us - JP King, Sean Martindale
Human/Nature: Meditations on Material Culture, Integrated Design Program, Haliburton School of Art + Design, Fleming College | 4th Floor
Murals of photographic images of plastic wastes and garbage. Horrifically grandiose.


Burning Wolf - Chris Bahry
Human/Nature: Meditations on Material Culture, Integrated Design Program,
Haliburton School of Art + Design, Fleming College | 4th Floor


Cabinet Fantastique: Ghost City by Sonia Gemmiti + Christy Stoeten | Public Space 2nd floor
A multidisciplinary art installation - a theatrical production using mini set pieces and holographic technology. This piece is created to salute Toronto’s lost architectural heritage.


Fraktur by [R]ed[U]x Lab | Studio 206
Created by a collective of designers, Fraktur explores expansion and contraction and how they can make a static room feel alive.