The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on July 13, 2004 · 23
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The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada · 23

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
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BEST COPY -AVAHADLE ARTS & LIFE I I IF. VAXCOL'YIR SI X. I l l SDAY. L IY 13. 2004 C3 WHAT WE LOVE TODAY Canada's first lady of theatre dead of respiratory failure Frances Hyland most recently starred in TV's Road to Avonlea . T ' ; . I . . J .- fL..- ,1,1 l. n,... -(J'" , ... w ! ft- W" ' I; '"' - . j. rvr " . icq- --' .-.'7- . 1 .v..ji - i I ; ; I 'tf '''' ...JkMmtth, ... ' i ,,3,... 1 I d J , i f. -' si "ust r . . . . ' ' t IAN LINDSAYVANCOUVER SUN FILES New art forms LOS ANGELES -In 2002, when . phonecams first came on the scene, naysayers dismissed them as a fad. Cellphones were to make calls. Cameras were to take pictures. Combining the two into a single hand-held device was technological folly an idea that would soon go the way of the e-book. These days, one in 10 cellphones includes a camera. So much for the naysayers. i What was once a gimmick for the tech-sawy to shuttle snapshots between friends hsls evolved into serious cellphone photography, websites for devotees and now a gallery art show. On Saturday, Sixspace Gallery kicked off a weeklong run of Sent: Arpefica's First Phonecam Art Show at the Standard hotel in downtown Los Angeles. ,r,f It's the future. Phones are a great example of taking something we've invented and turning them around into a creative tool, like the computer or video camera," said Chad Robertson, a local painter contributing photos to the show. Robertson is one of 30 artists who were asked to participate a roster including Hollywood names and virtual unknowns, celebrity contributors such as Will & Grace star Megan Mullally and Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban, and local bloggers and independent photographers. 1 All were given the same model phonecam, the simple instruction to shoot whatever they'd like and the request that ' they submit three to five of their favorites for display. The result: an artistically far-flung show bound by uniform technology rather than aesthetic sensibility. "Perhaps we could be criticized for reaching too broadly," said Xeni Jardin, cocurator of the show along with Sixspace owners Sean Bonner and Caryn Coleman. "But we thought, let's look at this from a number of different angles. If the whole idea of the camera phone is to be inclusive, it will be interesting for people." The gallery show at the Standard is just half of the picture, so to speak. The invited-artist photos are also displayed online, along with a growing display of thousands of phonecam pictures snapped and submitted by the public. And that makes the show a socio-anthrc-pological study as much as an artistic display of technological capability. "As people use these devices, as these devices become cheaper and more ubiqui- tous, people relate to their visual environments with a greater visual awareness, and that's kind of profound to me: the idea that something not intended to be a creative tool has the potential to change the way some of us relate to the environment surrounding us," Jardin said. A technology journalist for Wired magazine and National Public Radio, Jardin does a lot of thinking about such things. Last year she came up with the seeds of the project during a technology conference in Barcelona, Spain. Noting "the beautiful depth of cultural history and how there's this collision of old and new there old art and architecture and new mobile street culture," she said, "I was thinking, 'How could we toy with those two colliding dynamics : back home?'" ' Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times Catchy pop I tunes to crank on the car radio ? A PERFECT DAY I All Over Everything I REVIEW I Clean, simple, upbeat pop will always have its place, as Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton, Shania Twain and Hilary Duff know all too well. No sonic embellishments or unpredictable arrangements, the clean pop song comes together like a perfectly wrapped package delivered for no other purpose than the universal joy of instant gratification. The Beatles understood this approach to a masterful degree, and bubblegum bands only added extra sugar to the mix. Vancouver band A Perfect Day belongs among this motley group, and the duo Including West End Girls' lead singer-pianist Janele Woodley and guitarist-finger Joseph I Irechka has turned out a, debut packed with the kind of irresistibly catchy, shimmcry-production tunes that you'll mindlessly crank on the car radio. j If there's any departure from the straight-ahead pop genre, it's a subtle trip hop texture that gets shoved aside by the album's signature big hooks and climactic choruses. Woodley has a voice that (ends itself perfectly to moving between dynamic piano bridges and melodramatic, multi-layered choruses. The lyrics aren't your usual I-hate-rainy-days fodder, cither, and there's an unexpected edge in lines like, "My best friend's out 6f work My boyfriend's such a jerk It makes me want to cry but I'm still smiling" and "1 lappiness is not being by your side 1 lappiness is needles in your eyes." Woodley lets the ire come through enough that you sense she knows of APERFECTDAV all ovr vwythlng which she sings, which, combined with the assemblage of happyland hooks, makes the perfectly pleasing but generic guitar riffs and never-changing tempo forgivable. Other than a host of marketing and publicity factors, there's no reason A Perfect Day shouldn't score a hit with one or most of their radiantly upbeat sounding songs like Sril! Smiling, Happiness, Couldn't You Try? and We'Ii Never Know. Great examples of the universally beloved clean pop song, all of them. Kerry Gold Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival Much Ado About Nothing The Merry Wives of Windsor AiV Macbeth Tuesdays through Sundays Under the tents - Vanier Park 604-739-0559 BY JOHN MCKAY OBITUARY I Frances Hyland, the Saskatchewan-born actress described as the first lady of Canadian theatre, died Sunday. She was 77. Hyland died at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto of respiratory failure due to complications from recent appendix surgery, her son Evan McCowan said Monday. In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Hyland starred in and directed numerous productions at the Stratford and Shaw festivals but was also known for her appearances in regional theatre, films and in CBC-TV shows, including Road to Avonlea. In 1967 she appeared in Vancouver in the premiere production of George Ryga's The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. "She had been ill for a number of years," McCowan said, indicating she hadn't acted for the past six years. "This came on in the last little while, the respiratory illness. Heavy smoker, just like my dad." Hyland's former husband, pioneer stage director George McCowan, who moved to Los Angeles to direct series television in the 1970s, died of emphysema in 1995. Evan McCowan describes his mother as one of those Canadian talents who refused to leave Canada for the U.S. where they could have made a lot more money. "It still holds true today about people leaving because we can't afford to put people in the business into a place where they can save money," McCowan added. Richard Monette, Stratford's artistic director, said Hyland was "very coura--geous in her choices. "She dealt with the world, and all its problems and joys, through her art. She was a great lady of the theatre." Born in Shaunavon, Sask., in April 1927, Hyland displayed a penchant for acting at an early age, and after gradu-ating from the University of Saskatchewan in Regina won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in England. After graduation there with a silver medal, she made her professional debut in 1950 in a London production of A Streetcar Named Desire. She took an usher's job at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre to study rehearsals and at 19 snagged a tiny role on the new medium of television. "I don't think I'd ever seen TV and I certainly hadn't been in a studio," she said in a later interview. "We had to wear orange makeup and there were banks and banks of lights. We'd sweat like horses." She also recalled the many ups and downs of that early career "even a couple of times when I've had to phone the Actors' Fund and say I can't pay the rent." Hyland had long been a champion of greater status and higher pay for Canadian actors. In a 1970s interview she remarked that it was a good year when she earned more than $10,000. "We're now equal with policemen," she said in 1986. "Although they have a very difficult and dangerous job and are probably not as well paid as they ought to be." ' lst ("tow 4 i-sy " . ,1 Frances Hyland, in undated photo, was described as the first lady of Canadian theatre. in '85, Shaw's difficult masterpiece Back to Methusela in '86 and Major Barbara in '87. Also at Shaw, she directed Agatha Christie's murder mystery Black Coffee and in '79 directed the Stratford production of Othello. On Broadway, she performed opposite Tony Perkins in Look Homeward Angel and won a Jefferson Award for Long Day's Journey Into Night at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. There was also her Dora Award-winning performance in The Heiress at Toronto's St. Lawrence Theatre in 1986. In '89 after leaving the Shaw Festival, she played the curmudgeonly title role in Driving Miss Daisy in a Toronto theatre production. Hyland played many great female characters onstage, including Elizqbeth I (also in an episode of Patrick Watson's1 early '80s TV biography series The Titans), Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and Ophelia in Hamlet: TV appearances included co-starring with Leslie Nielsen in the miniseries The Albertans a sort of Canadian version of Dallas in 1979, and as Nanny Louisa in Road to Avonlea. She won the Governor General's Performing Arts Award in 1994 from then Gov.-Gen. Ray Hnatyshyn who called her the first lady of Canadian theatre. She was also an officer of the Order of Canada. Other honours included the John Drainie Award for distinguished contribution to broadcasting (1981) and a lifetime achievement award at the Toronto Arts Awards (1994). She is survived by son Evan and his wife Anne-Marie, two grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Canadian Press Frances Hyland in the Ibsen play John Gabriel Borkman in 1978. In 1954 she had been brought back to Canada by Tyrone Guthrie, founding artistic director of the Stratford Festival, to appear as Isabella opposite James Mason in Measure for Measure. She spent 10 seasons at the festival, co-starring, too, with John Colicos, Martha Henry, Douglas Rain and Bruno Gerus-si in King Lear in 1964. Her appearance at the Vancouver Playhouse in 1967, with Chief Dan George as her father, was a role written with her in mind and which she counted among her most meaningful achievements. Her Shaw Festival stage credits include Noel Coward's The Vortex in 1984, Clare Boothe Luce's The Women u E LAUGHS...HOTBING BUT FUNNY." MMmlailMnci-jNllleid . 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