|Photograph by our pleasant server Trevor - 27 September 2023|
There is a fine Spanish word – tertulia. Originally it was defined as a meeting among men at a café or bar in Spain where they would discuss politics, football or to argue that it was Juan Sebastián Elcano who was the first man to circumnavigate the world on a ship, as his captain, Ferdinand Magellan, had been killed in Mactán in the Philippines.
In the 80s we had an every-Thursday-at-noon tertulia at the Railway Club. We had writers, poets, photographers, illustrators, strippers, thugs, editors, etc as guests. When the Railway Club began to fade so did our tertulia.
|Photograph - Robert Kwong|
This year we have had a tertulia at 1:30 on the last Wednesday of the month at the Sylvia Hotel. We like the location, the food and the very friendly servers of which many speak my Spanish. The group is made up mostly of photographers. We try to find themes for each tertulia.
Unlike other hotel bar/restaurants the Sylvia has no large (or small) sports TV screens. We like that.
The tertulia this past Wednesday had the theme of Surrealism and we listened to a memorable lecture by our Surrealist artist friend Martin Guderna. He even brought a latest work which is a portrait (based on a shadow of her profile on a wall) of his wife Yolanda who died last September.
|Yours truly with Martin Guderna - Photograph Robert Kwong|
Guderna’s portrait of Yolanda seen in the photos here is a tad complicated as he drew her profile on a wall when she was alive using a light. The painting is a derivation of it. What I find unusual is that when I first saw it at his studio I thought I was not wearing my glasses as it was blurred. It is all part of Guderna’s concepts of Surrealism.
Having something to plan for once a month where friends meet for lunch is something that I find pleasant and necessary to keep living.
In an amazing Bunny Watson connection, Guderna told us that he was friends with with André Breton's third wife Elisa. He would visit her in Paris in the 90s accompanied by beat poet Ted Joans. Originally she was friends with Ted Joans and it was Joans who introduced Guderna to Madame Breton. The connection is that I photographed Joans in Vancouver in 2001.
|Ted Joans - 2001|