Monday, December 20, 2010

Annual Family Xmas Party - FUN, FUN, FUN!

As always, a krazy cast of characters (!!!), caricatures by the deft Pete Emslie, music by Burlington's own Michael Keys, with unique location this year at Burlington Golf & Country Club . Black tie (as per long-standing family tradition.) Dames danced, gents cajoled, shrimp wiggled, turkey clucked! From 16 to 94, GOOD TIME had by all. Dem bay lights were a'sparklin'!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Season's Greetings & Tribunal Decision

Dear friends, associates & other interested parties ...
to read my seasonal e-newsletter &
find out what has HAPPENED - link 'here'.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fractal Star Dust

... and now for something completely different ... yup, I've been messing with fractals again, feeling the seasonal mood coming on ...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New City Park 'walk-about', Nov.14, 2010

Back tracking our walk, we did a 'circle' around the upper parkland area. The last shot shows an old tractor tire propped up against a tree, with the land graded for the artificial turf playing fields in the background ...

It was encouraging to see this bird nest in one of the NEWly planted trees along the brow's edge ...

View from the brow back out over Burlington & the lake. Yes, a bit 'gray', but it IS November and still, a great VIEW.

Tree plantings along the brow edge. Our gut feeling is that at least half these 'newlings' won't make their first winter. None are 'deer/rabbit wrapped', and though tethered, some have already been 'uprooted' by strong winds.

Moss covered OLD escarpment rock off the Bruce Trail. This 'untouched' area is the BEST part of the park at present. It affirms that this LAND has been here for a long, long, LONG time.

EdeG strolling on the Bruce Trail, along the brow edge ... near the 'catalpa' tree ...

We explored this karst/sink hole and were kind of surprised to see that for all the 'designing' going on around the upper parkland area, old farm debris, like a rusty decaying metal feed drum and ancient tires, are still embedded in this natural creviss. Why haven't they been taken out? What purpose does it serve to LEAVE this debris in here? We don't know.

Lots of gates/fences around the new plantings. Why? It effectively interrupts the 'open' feeling that this location once naturally gave ...

... more fences ...

The above shot gives a sense of the 'old' brow forest and the newly planted saplings - strategically placed.
The next three images indicate HOW the water will run off from the fake lake into the ESA - (ecologically sensitive area). Above is the 'unfiltered/uncontoured' drain-off that sort of 'drifts' off towards the woods ... It's all a bit hap-hazard at the moment. It doesn't anticipate HOW the run-off from the synthetic artificial turf will IMPACT this ground water and/or land ...

The above shot shows the rock screening where the pipe leads out from the fake lake ...

The fake lake at New City Park. Wild canadian geese seem to like it ... so that's sort of good ... The current plan is that this water will be used to 'service' the artificial turf. All the water will drain directly back into the lake after it is used to 'wash off' the sanitizing chemicals, and 'cool' the heat islands of latex/rubber in the summer when they reach in excess of 120F.

Overall, it's an eco-disgrace, and that's why your VOTE is still needed. Federal & PanAm monies have 'hi-jacked' this PUBLIC park and will soon turn it into an 'exclusive use' tournament level soccer sport STADIUM facility. The money and this 'out of town' AMBITION is turning it into something it should NEVER be. Unless we do SPEAK OUT, we'll lose this Niagara Escarpment 'jewel' for good.

We want New City Park to be GREEN, from stem to stern, not fenced-in plastic turf with a half million dollar flood-lit stadium illuminating the landscape for miles around.

Give us back our park! Vote via this link -

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Last Stand ! New City Park-Tribunal Decision

Just completed this oil painting, 'Last Stand!'. It kind of encapsultes my recent thoughts about the recent 'developments' at New City Park, in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Wildlife is on the 'edge', literally & figuratively; it's 'stuck', habitat & food resources ever-diminishing.

As of today, we are still waiting on the 'decision' from the Tribunal to determine the fate and future of this park. Will it be just another 'major sports facility' with FIELDS of plastic grass and a domineering metal-rod flood-lit SOCCER STADIUM? an end-point 'sports toursim destination' as has been latterly proposed by the PanAm Org in conjunction with the City Staff/Council? OR, will it REMAIN as it was ORIGINALLY planned as an 'eco-friendly & sustainable' mixed-use 'recreational' NATURAL parkland area for ALL living things? The verdict is still out ... we wait.

In the interim, please join me for my final 'formal' Friends of City Park 'Meetup' on Sunday, November 14th, NOON, at New City Park. Meet at the front entrance of the Park on Kerns Road (at Dundas Street). Rain or Shine. Please be sure to wear warm clothes & good walking shoes/boots. All welcome.
This 'walk-about' should take about an hour. We'll likely have the Tribunal 'decision' by then, so, depending on that outcome, future 'strategic' plans will be considered/discussed. Your ideas, and continued help, are much appreciated.
Please join me to go 'a-wanderin' before the snow flies -
Hope to see you soon - Lindsay
p.s. New City Park doesn't have a 'website' or 'location' yet. Use Google MAPS, search for 'Burlington, Ontario L7P 4V9'.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Too Cute not to SHARE ...

I've just been sent these pics of a baby porcupine ... they are too cute not to share. I don't know who the original photographer is, or where the location is, but LOOK at that little critter and marvel for a moment at Nature's mighty mysteries ... :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 - Roots are Essential

For those of you who follow this blog, you'll know that this summer has been a very interesting and demanding one. Not only did I have my second public gallery exhibition, ['Memory's Shadow: Pinhole & Photo Collage Photography' by yours truly, well received and reviewed btw], I also undertook a personal crusade effective of mid-July to save a new park on the Niagara Escarpment from ruin. The mis-guided introduction of three fields of artificial turf aka 'plastic grass' into what is otherwise one of the few remaining wildlife corridors in Southern Ontario is an eco-disgrace.

In many ways, it seems to me, the last minute 'development' of this parkland area since December 2009 to satisfy 'out of town' sporting interests (the PanAm Games) re-enacts a well worn 'attitude' that the dominant & domineering human culture has about 'the planet' - in general. Locally, it can be seen in the 'colonializing' intent to reshape a natural environment to fulfill the over-weening AMBITION of bureaucratic planners, designers and landscape 'architects' to IMPROVE what Nature has done well and quietly for centuries.

After publicly protesting this venture through a petition (yes, you can still vote on my previous post), and then standing up at an Environmental Hearing last week to be HEARD, we are now waiting for the Tribunal to decide this park's fate.

In many ways, it doesn't look good. Millions of dollars have been 'earmarked' for this park's development. We all know that money speaks louder then words. Even so, if anyone of 'import' IS listening, hopefully they will come to understand that what is currently being destroyed is an IRREPLACEABLE CONNECTION to THIS wholly unique land for all of US, here, in Southern Ontario.

This leads me to the topic of this post - ROOTS. They connect us to each other by blood. And they ultimately and intimately connect us to the planet in our need for water, air and land. Without them, we flounder, fail and lose our bearings. Roots are essential for personal well-being and growth.

New City Park offers us, and generations to come, a chance to re-connect to the land and our vital living roots in ways that plastic grass never can. Without REAL roots, we are lost.

Roots assist us to define, refine and become who we singularly are. We all have them. We all need them. I am 'canajun' from HERE, Southern Ontario, the Niagara Escarpment, born & bred. To destory that, to smother it with toxic non-biodegradable crude, is an insult to all living things who thrive and survive at this point on the globe. Imported 'carpets' of synthetic grass are anathema to the spirit of this place. By using this product to cover the Living Earth, we are admitting our dominating dis-respect, dis-connect and dis-regard for ALL that sustains us daily.

Giving thanks during the harvest months is the antithesis of this superior 'attitude'. Giving thanks recognizes that we ARE a part OF Nature, not apart from it. Giving thanks expresses our gratitude for ALL living things that make OUR roots to this place deep and vibrant.

One such person who embodies this 'thankfulness' is Annie B. Her family lived and farmed what will become New City Park for nearly a century. Annie grew up on this escarpment land.

When Annie learned of the proposed 'changes' to the Park, she flew in from British Colombia earlier this summer to visit, one last time, what the land had always given her. her planetary ROOTS. The following photo of her shows a little hobbit-like creature meandering through the woods ... It may mean nothing to you, but to me, this shot embodies the solace and harmony that this landscape can bring. Annie is HOME here. And for that, she is most thankful.

Further to these thoughts, I've added a few images of the paintings & general 'messing about' I've been doing at my lakeside studio this summer ... And yes, I am most blessed. I too give thanks.

May you all have a warm and fulfilling Thanksgiving with your family, friends and loved ones. Thanks be too to the natural world that has - through its Life-Giviing Bounty - given us the bedrock- and benefits - so that we may all have a FULL life ....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New City Park - MLH Presentation to the Hearing

Here is the link to my presentation before the Environmental Review Tribunal, scheduled for October 5th, 2010, at Burlington City Hall, in Ontario, Canada. In it, I argue the reasons WHY 'synthetic grass' aka 'artificial turf' aka 'plastic grass' does not BELONG in New City Park, a 'new' park protected by the Niagara Escarpment Plan, and thus, now a part too of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

It's a long dissertation, so, you might want to get a cuppa before you settle in ... link - here.

(For those who follow my 'other life', kindly note, that after this is over, I will be posting new summer work, so please come 'visit' again soon ... thanks. mlh)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Grass Roots PETITION - Vote NO to the Pan Am Games in Burlington City Park!

... a vital and alive natural landscape ...

A Grass Roots PETITION has just begun -
Vote NO to the Pan Am Games in Burlington City Park

We have so little time to get this message 'up' and 'out' - venues are being finalized, monies are being spent - yet, we MUST TRY to be HEARD before it really is TOO LATE. Please -
Vote NO to the Pan Am Games in Burlington City Park

The 'new' Burlington City Park, the largest park in Burlington, is currently 'under construction' at Kerns Road and Dundas Street.. The Bruce Trail runs along its brow edge and Kerncliff Park is already there, in its south-western 'corner'. Located primarily on TOP of the Niagara Escarpment, it is home & haven to a wide variety of species - including wandering & wondering nature-loving humans ...

Most of this rural park land, though in the political boundary of Ward 1, butts up against Ward 3 and Ward 15 on top of the Niagara escarpment. This petition has been created to draw attention to the FACT that most Burlingtonians - let alone citizens all over the Golden Horseshoe region - have had little to no say about the impact this Pan Am 'venture' will have on THEIR park. It's not simply the park that's underway, it's the sneaky way the City has 'slipped' in the Pan Am Games ONTO the development of this PUBLIC land space.

After the rejection of Sherwood Forest Park in the urban core as the 'soccer' venue for the Games, by local residents, City Staff put forward the "remote" new 'City Park' to Burlington City Council.. Before the City could get the Pan Am 'bid' they had to convince and get the Niagara Escarpment Commission's 'approval'. This entire escarpment zone is locally known as unique, in many ways it remains 'untouched' and, as such, falls under the NEC mandate to preserve and protect it from inappropriate development.

When the City originally proposed the idea to the NEC in February of 2010, the NEC turned them down. The City's 'plan' encompassed 10,000 spectators, with seating for 8,500 plus all the necessary food, security, garbage, restroom and media/power facilties to accommodate such a large soccer-minded crowd. The NEC was rightly concerned that the size and scope of this kind of event would upset the natural equilibrium of the park. So, the City went away, and sharpened their pencils. On June 17th, they came back with 'revised' numbers for the NEC: Suddenly projected attendance had dropped from 10,000 to 5000 that only necessitated 'temporary' seating for 3500 with NO on-site parking for spectators. The crowds would be shuttled in by a 'temporary' transit system. They also said that when the Games were done, the whole 'event' would be dismantled and cleaned up. The NEC gave them the go-ahead.

HOWEVER, things just aren't adding up, and this should be of GREAT CONCERN to all those interested in maintaining ANY wonderful natural park on or near the magnificient Niagara Escarpment. During the City's June presentation to the NEC, City officials maintained that there had been numerous public consultations - including an 'Open House' in Ward 1, specifically about the Games, and that the "vast majority" there of "over 30 people" had voted in favour of the Pan Am Games. 30 people does not a 'majority' make! Meetings have been held about the PARK, not the Pan Am Games IN the park, and that's where something is starting to stink ...

What is becoming increasingly clear is that the City does not want another 'citizen rejection' of their big-ticket Pan Am scheme. The City has seemingly used the 'cloak' of public consultations about the PARK, not the GAMES, to inflate their 'public approval' numbers to the NEC, the media and the organizers of the Games. If people really HAD been properly informed and consulted about the IMPACT these games would have altogether, it is very unlikely that they would want them any more then did sensible residents of Sherwood Forest Park.

All Wards butting onto the park - Ward 1, Ward 3 and Ward 15 of Hamilton - should be better informed about this 'Over the Top' SPORTS SHOW that will be running for the summer of 2015.

City Park, as originally conceived, is, yes, IN PART, a recreational sports park, but increasingly it is being 'modified' and 'reshaped' to accomodate the mega-million dollar 'branding' ambitions of the Pan Am Games. This is NOT - when understood in full scope - what people ' pro the park' had bargained for.

In short, 'we' were not adequately informed or consulted, and 'we' are now being 'railroaded' into 'accepting' it, like it or not. Well, I, for one, am NOT accepting it. The need to accomodate so many - 5,000 or 10,000 or even 15,000 - will move the park so far away - conceptually - from what it SHOULD be, and what it was originally SOLD to us as, that it does now warrant this GRASS ROOTS 'citizen's protest'.

Please join with me andVote NO to the Pan Am Games in Burlington City Park

The new Burlington City Park is INAPPROPRIATE for the Pan Am Games.

Sign the PETITION -
Vote NO to the Pan Am Games in Burlington City Park

Thank you.
Margaret Lindsay Holton
A FRIEND of City Park
Golden Horseshoe Artist & Author

.. now a barren, scoured 'lot' ready for 'artificial grass' ...

Press Links:
Activist Artist wants Pan Am soocer stadium Venue Changed

Note: We held off the assault for ten months, but as of April 7th, 2011, we've 'lost'. The Ministry of Natural Resources has given City the 'go ahead', albeit with certain conditions. It's over. Plastic Grass is going into this park forever. For more info, and Spring Newsletter, link here -

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Hamilton Spectator Review of MEMORY'S SHADOW: The Exhibit

Jef Mahoney, Art Critic at The Hamilton Spectator newspaper, had this to say about my current pinhole & photo-collage photography show in the Perry Gallery at the Burlington Art Centre ... (He TOTALLY 'gets it'!)

For directions to the BAC, link 'here'

To purchase THE BOOK, go the tab at the top of this blog, under 'MLH BOOKS' , or contact me directly at lyn holton @ gmail dot com . There are ONLY 50 in the 'Collector's First Edition'. When they are gone, that's it. Nada mas.

Monday, July 19, 2010

MEMORY’S SHADOW: Pinhole & Photo-Collage Photography by Margaret LIndsay Holton

If you just can't get to Southern Ontario before August 19th, I strongly advise getting a copy of the book 'MEMORY'S SHADOW: Pinhole & Photo Collage Photography' (as seen above) by moi.

With 55 never-before-seen additional images, (and an incisive 'fore-word' by Canada's very own OUTSTANDING documentary film-maker, Peter Wintonick), this hardcover BOOK really is a NATIONAL TREASURE

 With only 50 copies available in this 'Collector's First Ediiton' - priced at just $160 (plus tax) - it's a steal! 

Excellent review by Jeff Mahoney of the Hamilton Spectator - here.

Order below with Paypal and/or your credit card. 

UPDATE: As of November 2013, only 24 copies remain. 

Need help with this purchase? Contact -
  mlhpro at hotmail dot com

Exhibition ENDS August 19th, 2010.

Monday, July 5, 2010

'MEMORY'S SHADOW' @ The Burlington Art Centre, Summer 2010

Pinhole & Photo Collage Photography
 by Margaret Lindsay Holton
Exhibiting in  The F.R. Perry Gallery 
Opening: JULY 15th  Closing: AUGUST19th. 

Artist's Reception: SUNDAY, July 18th, 2-4pm.
Artist's Talk: Monday, July 26th, 6:30pm
Gallery Hours: M-Th, 9a-10pm, Fri&Sat 9a-5pm, Sun 12a-5pm
Exhibition Catalogue by David Macfarlane

Excellent REVIEW by Jeff Mahoney, 
Art Critic of the Hamilton Spectator - here.

the complimentary hard-cover PHOTOBOOK -
with foreword by award-winning 
Canadian documentary film-maker, 
Peter Wintonick O.C. 
- is NOW available - link 'here'.

Artist Statement:

I have long been fascinated by how the human mind ‘records' things, events and moments in time and how those memories are later evoked thru the means of storytelli ng. The emotional tonal value of memories often shape-shift until they calcify into a ‘story' worth telling. These tales, in turn, provide us with identity. They act as cohesive glue and connect us as families, friends, group-tribes, and even, nation states.

We all carry emotional connections to past incidences. These emotional connections often ‘exist' in a fuzzy zone that swirls between fact and fiction. What ‘authenticates' a memory is often a physical thing, some kind of talisman or ‘keepsake' – like a piece of furniture or jewelry, a familiar landmark or a photograph. The physicality of these items ground the story and sets the tale in Real Time and Place.

However, our current superabundant capacity to photo-document EVER YTHING has begun to dramatically alter and even replace the other means by which we do ‘record' our own individual human experiences. For example, we all know that television is omnipresent in every North American home and is often the ‘focus' of family life and early education. There, we are inundated with an assortment of ‘crafted' memories that are primarily designed to induce us to buy stuff. Interspersed throughout these commercials is ‘entertainment' or ‘news' that supposedly inform us of all that goes on in the world outside the realm of our own experience. As a net result, OUR memories are increasingly ‘built' by producers/directors, writers and photographers that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the day-to-day evolution of our own physicality in our own naturally evolving landscape. Most now willingly accept this as ‘the norm'. Collectively, we have allowed external manufactured memories to define, and bind, us. Friends now ‘connect' when they talk about their favourite ‘tell-a-vision' shows …

Lately though, within the past decade, there has been a major shift in our memory or image consumption because, increasingly, through the internet, and with such distribution channels as YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook, we are no longer at the mercy of bulk mass-produced corporate image-makers of memories. We are now telling our OWN quirky stories, yet using the SAME tools. We too can now ‘play back', ‘rewind', ‘fast forward' or simply ‘surf'. We can drag a past moment forward into the present, and then, if we like, physically reshape that moment to have a future ‘life', as a ‘new' image. We can now manipulate and EDIT our own recorded photo images with ease. We have all BECOME our own producers, directors, writers and photo editors. We can all technologically manufacture our own memories.

My own sense though is that this heavy emphasis on the technology to actually re-PLACE our authentic Selves in time and space acutely undermines our own INNATE capacity to ‘remember' who and what we have been and are doing. We have FORGOTTEN that photography is ONLY a tool to document a memory - not the ‘memory event' itself.

With this book (and exhibit), it is my desire to stimulate a deliberate ‘dissonance' and force the viewer outside the seamless ‘comfort zone' of contemporary ‘DOC-U-ME photojournalism'.

I want to re-engage the viewer's Mind's Eye using the INNATE memory mech anisms OF OUR OWN MINDS to re-awaken the inner Self to the essential non-chronological components of our individual capacity for ‘memory making' and authentic self-expressive ‘story telling'….

I have done this by juxtaposing the eerie grounded Black and White ‘realism' of pinhole photography with the ephemeral capriciousness of heavily edited transparent collage colour photography.

I think it works - IN THE MIND ... What do YOU think?

- 78 images have been published in this COLLECTOR'S EDITION
- 22 images will be in Exhibition. Opening July, 2010


I'm READY! Come on over!!

Keep me posted of Lindsay's up-coming events -

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Painting: 'Warhol's Mistress'

24"x24" - oil & acrylic
on primed oak plywood - FOR SALE

Detail of Warhol's Mistress ...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

MashUp Portrait Collages

'A Hunk of Owen:MLH Mashup'

'Marilyn & Happy Inuk: MLH Mashup'

'Marilyn & Miro: MLH Mashup'

'End of Civilization as We've Known it: MLH Mashup'

'FameUs Pho-toads: MLH Mashup'

WHO do YOU see - ?
WHAT do you WANT to SEE - ?
I've posted these photos with a direct intent of exploring some rather controversial notions of 'fair use' under our current Copyright regime(s). In each instance, I've used a relatively famous photo with a relatively non-famous photo to create a NEW 'mlh mashup' IMAGE. These new items convey both a different - often satirical - meaning or focus then the 'original' photographs intended. I've also deliberately altered the colour palettes, and cropped the images to the sizes I want. My question, for those who do wonder if this kind of 'mashing' is 'legal', is this - are these NEW works Original?
On one hand, there is NO QUESTION I have created NEW IMAGES. On the other, I've created those NEW works on the backs of others, (... ie. most creators 'borrow' from other creators ... ), and I DID use some of my own photographs in the FIRST photo, 'A Hunk of Owen: MLH Mashup'. So, are these NEW IMAGES 'Originals', or not?

If not, should I, then, 'credit' and/or 'compensate' those other living - or dead - photogs whose works I've borrowed? Should, by natural extension, every photographer credit their infleunces in the byline of every shot they make? Wouldn't that mean they must begin with the first photo image they ever saw that TRAINED their eye to SEE-?

Should famed photog Annie Leibovitz, as a continued example, whose common use of 18th century portrait artists 'compositions' to 'set up' her shots, 'credit' those long dead 18th century artists, who, in turn freely 'borrowed' from their own artistic peers and predecessors? If so, why? and if not, why not? You can see how 'fair use' gets very 'gray' very quickly.

So, where ought we draw the line for 'fair use'? Can we? This whole tug of war between the 'Right to Copy' and 'Copyright' LAW interests me greatly. I'd be most interested in your comments. Postive and/or negative. Also, for the record, these above NEW IMAGES are intended for 'non-commerical educational private use'. They have been created solely as illustrative examples within this on-going 'fair use' debate. To be extra clear, I am NOT selling or reproducing them anywhere else but here on this blog ...



... are the natives friendly? ...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Doors Open - Hamilton

Spent an afternoon looking at two places - Whitehern House, in the downtown core, and the Tropical Greenhouse at Gage Park, a former 'farm' now also in the downtown core of Hamilton. Both places were 'landscaped' by H.R. Dunnington-Grubb in the 1920's and are now under some 'revision'....Doors Open runs until Sunday May 2nd, 4pm. For more info, go to

It's been pointed out that I've included two 'Crowned' images at the end of this post. Yup. The first is entitled 'Crowned', the second is called, 'Burden of the Crown' ... look again ...amazing, isn't it, how a slight change in angle can change both one's perspective & interpretation ...