The Legend of Agatha Christie Part 1

| 1 Comment

An informative exhibition featuring Agatha Christie's life was at The Pointe-à-Callière museum in Montreal. She is known as the "Queen of Crime" with sixty-six mysteries; six novels written as Mary Westmacott; and a hundred and fifty short stories, eighteen plays and two memoirs under her belt. From her sleuthing couple Tommy and Tuppence to her sharply witted Miss Marple to her "greatest detective who ever lived" Hercule Poirot.

I have read only one of her books and despite my love of reading, I enjoy Agatha Christie's stories much more on television. It's easier for me when it comes to mystery novels because seeing the suspects with their unique characteristics helps organize them in my mind.

The museum split the exhibition between two floors. This post will focus on Agatha's life up until her archaeological digs.

Get Frisky With It



In the piercing cold of winter, waiting impatiently for spring to come, the Frisky Kids can give you something to warm up. Their first EP album "The Beach," is an altogether feel-good album that defies Montreal's bitter winters.

"We called out EP 'The Beach' because it's the name of our dingy jam space, we named it that because it was the middle of winter and wanted a warm sounding place to go" The band responds when I inquire about their album title.

If the Beach is where this album was created, that is definitely what it sounds like. The upbeat tempo of their music and enthusiastic, go-along-with-it stage presence makes them a group that is pleasing to watch and even more enjoyable to listen to. Playing music with a nostalgia for warmer days, the Frisky Kids are a Montreal based garage-rock band that should not be ignored.

#Accessible Art: Instagram



("It is a new art movement of new photography facilitated by this electronic medium." From left to right: @teekolee, @jfsavaria, and @mariaaah19.)

#Letmetakeaselfie: share it with the world, gain a few likes, and gain a few followers. #Wanderlust: document your life and travels. #Goodeats: show everyone what you're eating, where you're eating, and when you're eating it. #Citylandscape: capture the beautiful city that you live in.

#Artistic movement? Instagram can be used to document the user's life through photographs. In many cases the photos are taken with precision and filters are added with tact to create truly beautiful photographs. Can this movement of photographic documentation be considered as art?

How to Get the Most Out of Your Museum Experience



You have entered a museum, you are going to see artwork done by one of your favorite artists. You have been waiting for months. Your heart is beating with excitement as you enter the building - but wait - you start to wander. You start to questions yourself, "is this the right place?" You start to sweat and get anxious. You are now uncomfortable, sticky, and hot. You finally get into the right room, but now you are too disgruntled to focus. You zip through the exhibit, you have barely seen anything. You have become too anxious and need to leave. You have lost your chance to successfully enjoy your visit.

Kandle Osborne: On Music, Montreal, and Art

IMG_2475.JPG"Before the EP came out I had never even sung at a show before. It was all very new and terrifying, but I had the support of Montreal and the great musicians here. So I just started getting confidant, figuring out my style, and growing as an artist."

She's In Flames



The spot lights flashed off her golden mini dress as Kandle Osborne slinked onto stage as her band, the Krooks, performed the James Bond theme song. In the intimate bar-like atmosphere of Montreal's Cabaret Mile-End, Kandle and The Krooks were playing for the first time since the release of her album In Flames. She stood sly and shining, looking like a sleek cat surrounded by four adorably scruffy dogs. The crowd, a mixture of young and old, all pressed close to the stage and moved to the music as she sang in a sultry, bluesy voice.

Painted Lines of Life


IMG_1463.JPGI grew up on a farm in a valley buried in the hills. I rode horses before I could walk and drove tractors before I drove cars. It was the center of life. Farmers, friends and children flocked together to play, to work, or just to share the town gossip.

Work on the farm never ended. We did our sugaring in the old fashioned way, with a team of horses. They were a dream team and had giant hearts for the work that they loved. Those who came to help us travelled back in time through the pull of the sleigh, the jingle of the harnesses, and the steam which rose up from the horses' backs. I drove the horses, but I was so small that I was not able to see over the sap tub, but I could steer straight and that was sufficient. In the summer, the tractor that we hayed with was only one step above horse and prone to overheating. I drove the tractor, but had to hang off the side of the steering wheel and use all my weight and strength to turn. We worked in the searing heat and endured the sting of wasps and the prick of the hay. Sticky with sweat, rivulets would make clean tracks down our dirty bodies and the hay dust clung to our wet skin. Every other day meant some sort of mechanical breakdown of the tractor or haying machinery. The work was hard, but we persisted.

From the Outside In


Pic for interview.jpg


Swel is a graffiti artist from the Montreal area who started the hip hop crew T.A. Crew, or Team Autobot Crew. Swel currently works as a career professional who does graffiti on legal walls with other T.A. Crew members. He is a modest artist who is known in the community for being big hearted and an all around great guy.

Swel is away on business, so we conduct our interview over Google Chat. I send him a message that I'm ready on my end. Once he accepts the invitation a window pops up, and there is Swel in sunny California looking worn out from his seven hour flight. I apologize for the noise on my end as my kids are watching television and being noisy. He smiles and says, "That's okay." Swel has a business meeting to attend so I dive right in.

Me: So when did you decide that you needed to move in the direction of a career over graffiti?

He scratches his beard and leans back in his chair.

Swel: I would say that it wasn't really that...I think that one of the things that hampered me, that really slowed me down in graffiti was the fact that got busted for doing it so, that experience kind of, although I still really loved it, it made me not want to do it anymore because I did not want to get caught again, because that experience was not very pleasant at all. That pretty much stopped me from doing graffiti, not one hundred percent, but back in those days there wasn't any legal places to do it, so if you wanted to participate in the culture you had no choice but to do it on illegal walls, where now-a-days I've had plenty of opportunity to do it on legal walls. But from a graffiti artist's standpoint that's kind of controversial because just doing it legally isn't enough, that's what a lot of graffiti artists believe. But it's nice that there is that opportunity to practice and not have to break the law while you get some skills. I would say that concentrating on school was something that I wasn't ever against, it was just I guess I got older and got tired of not being appreciated and working at crappy jobs. And making money to live on you know.

Me: And how did it make you feel to come to that realization? Were you kind of saddened at the thought that you may have to compromise a little bit or to put it on hold and not to improve yourself on your skill?

Swel: Not really because I had already pretty much stopped writing graffiti, at least, a large amount, when long before I decided to go back to school. So it wasn't kind of like an exclusive choice between those two things.

Me: Do you still write and how often?

Swel: In the summer there I tried to get out three or four times to the legal walls, in this year. So, yes I still write.

Me: And who influences you now? Out of the writers out now who do you think, "Ya I really like that style, I'd like to do that." Or makes you think.

Swel: As for how style goes I don't think I get influenced by other writer's styles, I kind of already have my own style, as primitive as it may be. It's kind of like what I do so I'm kind of set in that, but I do see a lot of graffiti art out there that I like, you know like the Crazy Apes Crew, they do a lot of amazing, amazing things. And um, there are a lot of old influences on me too, names like FLOW, big time FLOW and KAS...SIKE.

Me: What is it that makes you want to write still?

He becomes distracted for a moment and says "Did you hear that? It's the Queen Mary." He grabs his laptop and moves over to the window to show me the boat out in the ocean. Than after a few seconds he sets the laptop back down on the desk and we continue the interview.

Swel: Um, the thing about graffiti is, it's kind of, I hesitate to use the word addictive, but it's very, the feeling you get from it is makes you want to improve yourself [art]. And it's like every time you do it you're putting it out there for everyone to see it, it's kind of...I'm trying to think of how to describe it, but it's a feeling you can't really get in a lot of other things. Because you're doing it on your own, but you're's a very public thing that you're doing so.

Me: What do you think of your progression as an artist, from the beginning to what you're able to do now?

Swel: I don't consider myself to be a very, you know, a great graffiti artist, I do it for fun. You know, it goes back to getting up and I don't try to get up anymore. I'm only really competing with myself, it's more like I don't think there's anywhere I can go.

Me: So you don't feel proud of perfecting a certain style, or even having just a piece that you feel proud at having produced.

He begins to lean back in the chair and rock back and forth contemplating the past.

Swel: I don't feel proud, I'm just happy, happy with what I'm able to do now, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that I've improved a lot. When we were first writing I wasn't very...the tools were not great. Like the spray paint was not very good, um it really took a lot of skill to make something look good, where now compare to what you used to get what you can put up on the wall is pretty good.

Me: What frustrates you about graffiti?

Swel: Not a lot.

Me: Not a lot?

Swel: No I mean it's can be political. It can get very political, people can be very short tempered whenever you have something to do with ego. It can get...people can get short tempers.

Me: Okay, so it doesn't frustrate you. So what do you think that your style says about you?

Swel: Nothing.

Swel starts to laugh, and I do too.

Me: Have you ever been in trouble for doing graffiti?

Swel: Yes, like I said before it's one of the reasons I slowed down my graffiti writing.

Me: Would you discourage your children from doing graffiti?

Swel: Yes, illegally definitely.

Me: And how would it make you feel knowing that they're out there doing what you did?

Swell: I don't want to talk about it. I wouldn't like it. It's not really necessary anymore [doing graffiti illegally].

Me: What do you think of when you think about your kids continuing on with T A?

Swel: Well I like it. I think it's something that we can hand down to the kids, a sense of community.

Me: How does it make you feel to think of the end of TA? You know, people getting old and not wanting to do it anymore, being apathetic?

Swel: I don't think it's getting like that. I think, I mean it's always hard to motivate people, it's always been hard to motivate people to do things. Even in TA's hay-day it was hard to motivate people. Because people have other things to do, so to get people together to do something is not easy, no matter how old you are, even in the old days it was hard to motivate people to do things together. You just have to do something that everyone wants to do and hope that the community keeps coming together.

Me: How long do you see yourself doing graffiti?

Swel: Indefinitely.

Me: Do you continue to work on your style?

Swel: To improve it definitely.

I look at my paper and realize we've gone through all the questions.

Me: Well that's all I have for now. Thank you for agreeing to do this with me.

Swel: Thank you for asking me.

I thank Swel for his time, he smiles and signs off with a wave. His image disappears from my screen and I feel like I know a little bit more about Swel and his ideas of community. The Montreal graffiti culture is strong, and from this interview I knowl Swel will be a part of it for a long time, and that he will keep T. A. Crew going as long as he can.

Know Your Graffiti


Beaux Dégâts


Graffiti art exhibit at Foufounes Électriques, Wednesday April 24th.

Check it out,

Visit our community forum!


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Creative Commons License
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.