While fulfilling a contract, teaching grade one students, I still managed to get out to some arts events in town and now, as a matter of playing catch-up, I’ll archive a couple of them. Last Thursday, I attended the Peter von Tiesenhausen opening, Concentrations, hosted by Jarvis Hall Fine Art and to follow that, attended one of two artist-talks given by Peter on his current Esker Foundation exhibit, Experience of the Precisely Sublime.
At Jarvis Hall Fine Arts, I enjoyed the intimacy of the pieces on exhibit. There are some very monumental sculptures presently on exhibit at the Esker Foundation and these, along with Peter’s shelf of gestures, are very beautiful. For those of you looking for biographical information, please refer to the links above and a fabulous write up for the present exhibit at Esker is located here. The purpose of this post is to share some of the magic that I took with me after my experiences of the art.
First, art openings are awesome for the purpose of bumping into and connecting with treasured friends. I was happy to chat briefly with Shannon, Michelena and Bruce. I was really happy to have a short visit with Peter as well and to remind him that his work has impacted me in a special way for several decades now.
During the artist-talk at the Esker, I picked up on several short vignettes in reference to the pieces on the shelf. I’m including a photograph here that will be fully credited later as I DID find it on the Esker Foundation website, on their ABOUT page, but the photographer is not credited there (I’m going to assume that it is a photo archive taken by Doug Haslam). I want to use it as a map for Peter’s talk, as he explored these intimate pieces from right to left and shared brief narratives about each.
The following are a series of points pulled out of my notebook…
The Concentration = whatever you go through, you can manage. In the end, create what you want.
Peter decided that some of his difficulties through a specific period of time were created by his own head and RESISTANCE.
PERSIST….BELIEVE….Follow your bliss (Joseph Campbell) because good stuff happens.
-8′ section of picket fence painted white
-add an 8′ section every year to the west
-24 x 8′ straight line…new on one end and pickets splitting on oldest end, aging and weather-worn-incredible challenge
-conscious of what is lost
-conscious of passage of time
-remember the neighbours from your youth
-why did we not have the faith that transition happens?
EXAMPLE: The clear-cuts that created such a concern for environmentalists decades ago are now very vibrant eco-systems.
-if we are going to do damage, let us make it so that at least it’s over the parameters of our own life limitations
-How can we have the smallest impact?
THERE ARE THINGS IN LIFE THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH MONEY OR MATERIAL POSSESSIONS. PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE.
SMALL OBJECTS ON SHELF = GESTURES these taught Peter how to explore materials and ideas.
Wooden Face Profile
While attending the sculpture department of York University, Peter decided he was going to use ever machine that was in the department; drills, CNC scanning machines, laser programs. He enjoyed the sound of the drills, the melodic and hypnotic sounds.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE THE BEAUTY IS COMING FROM.
Wooden Duck and Lion
Left on a railing for twenty five years in his studio.
One of 3000 eye symbols that led to the copyrighting of his land. The eyes of the aspen trees are guarding-watching.
Sustainability ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS WANT TO
Lunenburg Industrial Foundry and Engineering – sunlight used to melt bronze
Use focused sunlight to heat bronze to 5,000 degrees.
Wood with cavity in it – contains a pebble
Karl Blossfeldt – Up Close and Beautiful/Art Forms and Nature
Rusted Camshaft – solar bronzed
Home made Axe
-a mention, here, of Tim and Linda, people who lived off the land/$10,000 a year and farmed with horses
BEING FREE – I don’t owe anybody anything.
WHAT IS ALL AROUND YOU?
EMBRACE FAILURE. EXPERIMENT.
Random Axe of Kindness – Banff
The very next day, having listened with my heart…not just my head, I noticed this beautiful dried strand of perfectly ordered seed pods. Such a brutal, cold winter, Alberta experienced these last many months and to discover such perfection was surprising and beautiful.
I feel inspired to truly notice my surroundings because of the impact of Peter’s exceptional work in two Calgary galleries. At the Jarvis Hall Fine Art exhibit, I was most captivated by a glass cabinet filled with drawings tied together in bunches with cord and then sealed in red wax. I would like to encourage my readers to attend both exhibits while they are here in Calgary.