Blue skies

By Randy Gledhill

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where, don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away
Vera Lynn

Well, the mess has been cleaned up. The gallery walls retouched. The rented and borrowed equipment returned. The artists, like a murder of crows, are migrating back to their respective roosts, a torturous plane trip ahead. 7A*11d is done. Cooked. Un fait complet.

What a week it has been! Perfectly and simply orchestrated to present to Toronto a sampling of the best and brightest from here and around the world. A taste of the avant-garde, the frayed edges, the various genre, trends and obsessions now being employed within that slender wedge of contemporary life identified as ‘performance art’. Princess is exhausted by the sensory overload, the outpouring of love and the endless deconstruction,

7A*11D, as with other festivals, including Princess’ own endeavor, LIVE, brings together artists for a week long, intensive and brilliant mash-up. The artists, over and over, travel in order to work and to network. They are lucky if, in the end, they can even cover their expenses. Visiting far off lands, (say a 26 hour flight, with 2 change overs, through 8 time zones) is demanding. Their concerns are for the most part cocooned, insular and specific to making their work perfect. Even in a city as dynamic and diverse as Toronto, most just want to stay together with like minds and find a safe zone to talk, listen, drink, and perhaps smoke. There is no lust for excursions, trips up the CN tower for a view, tour groups to Niagara Falls, or visits to the museums (except perhaps to Denis’ subway museum), They are here to work. They travel to work. They travel and they work. They work.

A difference that distinguishes this crew and, say, a tourist group or conventioneers, is that the artists don’t need the formality of a courtship or the luck of speed dating to bond. As each in turn exhibits who they are, they share a common intimacy. These folk immediately and already know each other.


Being tasked to write blog reviews of these unique, eccentric, and sincere artists is a demanding, emotional task, even for a Princess. She knows that people everywhere in cyber-space are reading her. She knows that she somehow has to find way to peek behind the veil, to perhaps inscribe something meaningful. Find the creative gist, the DNA, and not just advertise the veneer. Maybe, maybe not.

This blog form of critical text is new and tricky. It demands one get to the point quickly. It remains fluid. You can always go back to edit and adjust the text later, perhaps add a missing salient detail or two  (as I am want to do). So can others.

Princess knows that she is not finished yet. This will continue. A challenge to websites like is to keep alive. Stop from being put on a life support system. Resist becoming comatose. Like a conversation, when the talk stops, everyone leaves. With this in mind, Princess promises to irregularly keep posting here. There are many events, situations and interventions not yet thought through. Stay tuned.

To the artists, Princess understands you are all crack-book addicts, and so fragile. Return daily to see if something new about you is posted. Relax. Be patient. Be concerned. Be very concerned. Maria, Rachel, Marcio, Waldemar, et all, get over the celebratory buzz and the jetlag. Try to get some sleep. You’re next.

Princess would like to thank her beautiful co-bloggers Sylvie and Christine for taking this journey with her. She is in love with you both, Let’s continue to stir it up a bit. Here and elsewhere.

Thank you to the 7a*11d collective for making all of this possible. Awesome!

Stay tuned cyber-folk. Keep returning to for more goodies.

XO Princess (and Randy)


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