Make your way through a balloon-filled room at the National Gallery of Canada during Winterlude

Feb 08, 2013, 10:00 ET from National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery to treat visitors to a playful and interactive installation by British artist Martin Creed

OTTAWA, Feb. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The interactive installation Work # 202: Half the Air in a Given Space by British Turner-prize winning artist Martin Creed has been added to the program for Winterlude at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). Other activities include the contemporary Canadian art exhibition Builders: Canadian Biennial 2012, on display until February 18, and the stunning video installation A Journey That Wasn't by French artist Pierre Huyghe. Visitors can also explore the artworks in the Gallery's collection with the self-guided tour Not Just Another Winter Tour, or take part in family-friendly activities at the Artissimo kiosk. To mark Ontario Family Day, the Gallery will be open on Monday, February 18, and will be offering a discount on family admission and audioguide rentals. For complete information on programming, visit

Make your way through a balloon-filled room
One room, thousands of balloons: Work # 202 exemplifies Martin Creed's career-long investigation into how we physically experience everyday life. In this installation, the artist gives form to the air that surrounds us by precisely measuring and capturing half of it inside nearly twenty thousand black balloons. Creating an environment that is both playful and claustrophobic, he drastically alters our perception of space. Visitors are invited inside Gallery B108, where they can work their way through the sea of balloons. Here, as in the majority of his production, Creed uses the art museum, a site of meaningful contemplation, to turn our experience of the ordinary into a work of art. Access to the installation space is subject to certain conditions. Restrictions may apply.

New Canadian art at its finest
The exhibition Builders: Canadian Biennial 2012 has been extended to February 18. Builders highlights more than 100 exceptional artworks by different generations of artists — emergent, mid-career and established "senior" artists alike. What makes this exhibition even more special is that visitors can share their thoughts on the works on Twitter. The Gallery has even equipped its Special Exhibitions Galleries with Wi-Fi access for the first time ever, hoping to encourage sharing and discussion. Visitors can also learn more about some of the artists by watching artist interviews on iPads set up inside the exhibition. Builders is a must-see for anyone who wants to experience the best of new Canadian art.

Blending fact and fiction through film
A Journey That Wasn't is a fascinating 25-minute colour film by internationally renowned French artist Pierre Huyghe. The artist's work navigates between fact and fiction, proposing that reality is so unbelievable that "to tell it the right way, you must tell it as a fiction." In A Journey That Wasn't, Huyghe merges two events of his creation: an Antarctic expedition in search of an albino creature rumoured to exist on an uncharted island exposed by receding ice, and a re-enactment of that voyage as an elaborate concert and lightshow in Central Park in October 2005. Part nature documentary, part science-fiction movie, and part musical, the resulting cinematic experience shifts between the exploration of sublime terrain and orchestrated spectacle, leaving us to decide whether, as the title suggests, the journey even happened.

Winter tour of the collection
The new self-guided Not Just Another Winter Tour invites visitors to explore the Gallery's collection, focusing on winter landscapes, animals of the ice and snow, and other innovative works that will surprise and delight. Come discover or rediscover several works by well-known artists such as Krieghoff, Colville and Akpaliapik.

Artissimo for families
Saturdays and Sundays, and Monday, February 18, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Families will enjoy exploring the artworks in the Gallery's collection in fun ways, then using their experience as inspiration for art-making. Children can take on an adventure with one of the Art Buddies, detailed replicas of figures in the paintings. They can also put on a Who Am I? costume before they go find the artwork with the person wearing the same thing and imagine how they lived. They may also challenge their sense of touch with the Feely Box experience. Love building? An impressive assortment of wooden blocks is made available to parents and kids so they can make their own Super Structure inspired by the building's architecture. Artissimo is for children ages 3 and up, accompanied by an adult.

Ontario Family Day discounts
To mark Ontario Family Day, the Gallery is offering $20 off Family Memberships. Enjoy free unlimited admission to the permanent collection and all special exhibitions at the Gallery for one full year. This discount is valid on all Family Memberships (new memberships, gift memberships and renewals) purchased in person, by phone and online on Monday, February 18, 2013. A Family Membership to the Gallery comes with plenty of other benefits as well.

To mark Ontario Family Day, on Monday, February 18, the Gallery is offering a 2-for-1 discount on audioguide rentals. Collection Highlights in 5 languages. The audioguide series includes:

  • Children's Tour
  • Verbal Descriptions Tour
  • Mandarin Language Tour with Dashan
  • Canadian History Tour with Charlotte Gray
  • Fashion and Textiles in Art Tour with Alexandra Palmer
  • Plants and Gardens Tour with Sharilyn J. Ingram

Collection: Adults: $9. Seniors and full-time students: $7. Youth (12-19): $4. Families (two adults and three children): $18. Admission is free of charge for children under 12 and for Friends of the Gallery.

Opening hours
The Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed on Monday.

About the National Gallery of Canada 
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian, and Indigenous Art, and renowned international collections of prints, drawings, and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art exhibition program. For more information:

SOURCE National Gallery of Canada