into the world of illusion and mystery. Pause at the fortune teller, see the
curling lip on the ventriloquist’s dummy and don’t forget to pick up a glass
to the home of Ron and Gayle Eady at the intersection of dark and light.
people get it and some people don’t,” Ron says.
is a boxy commercial building in the Stinson Neighbourhood the couple bought 10
years ago. They left behind a lovely old farmhouse in Burlington to move
downtown. Now, close to the CP main line, “We have a great view of the
Christmas train,” near parks and the escarpment they are happily imbedded in
the gritty creativity of Hamilton.
made the move at the right time,” Gayle says.
House prices were high in
Burlington and low in Hamilton. The sale allowed Ron to quit his job at outdoor
advertising company Eclipse Imaging of Burlington, to concentrate full time on
art. His paintings based on industrial images, were taking off.
building was a blank slate to showcase his art, and their
antiques. They’ve been collecting for 40 years. In the past 15 years
the focus has been on ventriloquist dummies. The marvelous and macabre faces
appear to follow you through the house. They come from England, France and the
US, dating to the 1800’s, beautifully crafted and haunting.
like them because they are pieces of art, hand carved, and hand painted,” Ron
display of medical mannequins occupies a special place in the house. Dentists
and eye doctors needed to practice their skills, and the mannequins awaited.
go to the trouble to make these so beautifully, some have gears so the head can
be tilted, the craftsmanship is wonderful,” says Gayle.
the mannequin display is Ron’s office where a tiger from an original circus
wagon looks over the room and more medical curiosities are arranged on the
artist’s desk. “Early on I did a series on quack medicine, but these
props don’t make their way into my paintings now.”
personal collection of dummies, carnival games, eyeballs, hotel signs, even an
HSR rotating bus sign remains at home, but they also sell pieces through their
business Vintage Stylings. They have stalls at the Hamilton Antique Mall on
Ottawa Street and Southworks Antiques in Cambridge.
the props aren’t represented in Ron’s paintings, they act as inspiration he
says. His big industrial landscapes capture the darkness of
smokestacks, blast furnaces, raw metals, and lonely freighters on vast grey
lakes. Even when he ventures to paint a natural landscape, a canoe on a pond
for instance, you have the sense that something is going to go wrong.
like illusive imagery, it makes you ask, ‘What’s going on here.’”
Eady’s (www.roneady.com) paintings in oil and
encaustic are in private and public collections in Canada and the US. He is
represented by the Abbozzo Gallery in Toronto and Earls Court Gallery in
Hamilton where his next solo show is in 2019.
a home in a big box allowed space for both a painting and sculpture studio.
Using old beams, Eady is sculpting bold figures that seem to pick up cues from
both the ventriloquist’s dummies and medical mannequins. “I like to
use the character of the wood to let the personality come out.”
three of the Eady’s daughters are artists, involved in photography, fashion
design and collage, and surprising to Gayle they all love antiques.
call it dark nostalgia, that’s what I see in my paintings and in our
collection,” Ron says.
both love coming into Hamilton on Burlington Street and the factory views,”
Gayle says, “And then coming in on the beautiful Cootes Paradise side we feel
so lucky to be here.”
he lands in the world Gerard Bos unpacks his shipping container and makes a
weeks ago Bos moved to Hamilton from Tokyo where was he was Customer Experience
Manager for Ikea Japan
container arrived from Tokyo and then I’m like a little animal
about to go into hibernation. It
has to be all unpacked I just need to have it finished. I have a busy job, I’m
travelling a lot, and it’s important to me that I don’t live out of boxes for
three or four months.”
Bos signed on for a three-year assignment as Customer Experience Manager for
Ikea Canada, he naturally assumed he’d live in Toronto. “I thought that was the
place to be,” he says.
it took just one rush hour drive from Toronto to Ikea head office in Burlington
for Bos to change his mind.
started to look for a place to live close by. Location agents showed him 20
rentals mostly in Burlington and Oakville, but missing was the spark of the big
cities he’d lived in across Europe where he worked for Ikea and before that for British
in the home furnishing business, home is important to me, I need to feel at
home the minute I open the door, particularly
when you live in different countries over the years, that’s even more
So Bos, a native of
Holland started his own home search and focused on Hamilton. "I started to
look on Realtor and Kijiji, than driving one day I spotted the building and
thought “This is lovely.”
building was in the Stinson neighbourhood, a former factory converted to lofts.
Bos walked in and said ‘This is it.”
it is lovely, with warm wood floors, exposed beams,
and big windows with deep sills. The street with houses dating to the 1870’s,
is “like stepping back in time” Bos says.
the container arrived it didn’t take Bos long to put things in order. His
pieces are well travelled, Switzerland, Belgium London, Glasgow, the island
Jersey, Tokyo and more.
is why home is so important, you gather your own things, develop style, the
minute your container arrives and you take your things out and find a home for
them that suits that layout, and somehow it always works.”
the loft in Hamilton is two floors, most time is spent on the open space main
floor that encompasses the kitchen, dining area, living spaces, office and
in the front door and you’re immediately in the living space. An antique chest
of drawers purchased in London in the 90’s and a slim wooden shelf mounted by
the front door help organize arrival and departure clutter.
the right is the living room, with a gas fireplace glowing and morning light
coming in the from the east. “This has the loft look but it doesn’t have that
emptiness you sometimes get in lofts because the ceilings aren’t that high. I
like a warm, cozy feel in the home,” Bos says.
big leather sofa faces am iconic Noguchi coffee table Bos bought in Belgium 20
years ago, and two Italian designed chairs, are also well travelled. “I love
their shape, and they are very comfortable.”
sized windows have minimal coverings, and the deep sills are all used for
displays of pieces collected over the years.
grew up at home with plants and flowers on the window sills, that’s quite
common in Holland. These sills are almost like cabinets and great to display
the things you love. I do love my Dutch touches.”
compact and efficient kitchen faces a small dining area where Bos has grouped
“up-cycled” wooden chairs with a mango wood table.
the kitchen and framed by hefty wood pillars and ceiling beams another sitting
area showcases a beautiful antique glass cabinet that stores dishes, cups and
books. It has moved seven times with Bos. A striking orange two-seater sofa
divides living room from bedroom. “I spotted it in Sweden in the Ikea design centre
before it was launched and had to have it.” Bos swapped out the wooden legs for
metal ones for a modern look, using Ikea’s clever mix and match theory of
flexible design. He did the same at his window-facing desk, resting a rectangle
of bamboo wood on top of an Ikea set of drawers for a warm approach to office
many ways Bos’s loft is like a living lab of design solutions. Storage space is
at a minimum, so he uses cabinets, trolleys on wheels, and chests for storage.
“I’m not a minimalist, but I don’t like a lot of clutter,” he says. To expand
the sense of space at night he uses small Ikea floor lamps in each corner of
philosophy of accessible design and flexible solutions comes naturally to the
(the loft) is all open space you need to think about colour schemes, using
similar tones, and then creating compartments within the open space, for
sleeping work, and dining. If the flooring is the same throughout it helps.”
getting to know Ikea’s 13 major stores across Canada, Bos wants to get to know
Hamilton. “I appreciate the diversity and creativity, there’s a nice feel about
this city that I like.”
it all looks better through the windows with “the Dutch touch."