I hope you took a listen to that one…it’s a perky tune for your morning start!
There’s lots of paving going on right now, but I maneuvered my way into the City Parkade and made it to Enriquito’s solo exhibit, just as it was getting rolling. A nice group of people gathered to celebrate the art of a prolific and inspiring young man, one we have been blessed to come to know as friend in art.
Snacks and drinks were available and good and uplifting conversations filled the wee vintage-gallery space. I was grateful to get into some conversation with artists, Fernando and An Dong. An Dong was pretty pumped to see Wendy Lees and the create! folk earlier in the day. I had made the effort to see the create! exhibit that is presently happening in the main branch of the Calgary Public Library, but Fridays means a 6:00 p.m. close, so, I’ll have to come down another day.
Congratulations, Enriquito, on your beautiful work, but more importantly, for the friendships you have nurtured over these past years in Calgary. We will always love and support you.
I loved how this little group created an entire narrative for this painting…and went into huge depth and description of what they perceived was happening in the painting. I just love art…love it!
Cold wind. Grey skies. Zillions of sparrows eating their feathers full at the feeder…snow in the weather reports. Dark cloud zooming from the west. Yellow light of sun on the horizon, smothered in vertical bands of rain, racing this way. Spaghetti dinner with my cousin. Watching the cat across the street tossing its prize again and again in the air. Thinking about elephants…
I had already decided to make some sort of observance of the fact that there is going to be a March to Save the Elephant on October 4…I wanted to have people at the Gorilla House, artists and audience combined…bring the plight of the elephant to the forefront…just for an evening. So, in combination with the Yellow Bird image in Gorey’s cards…I proceeded to draw and paint.
“Whoever has seen these giants marching across the last free open spaces of the world knows that this is something that must not be lost.”
– Romain Gary, The Roots of Heaven
We are in a world that is agitating with loss…species...glaciers…my mother. Concerning this, I am not an alarmist and I am not a pessimist. In fact, I live in hope…but most certainly for things ‘not of this world’.
The three archetypes shared with Gorey DID generate some connections for me while I worked. The Gorilla House concepts always do! The Urn as a metaphor…a container for what remains and L’ecorche…humanity, exposed…at its core (the bad and good of it). The Yellow Bird…my mother’s song…my father’s whistle…the bright hope, small but apparent. I thought also of the canary in the cage…the small warning of a big catastrophe in the mines, the pits that we dig for ourselves. (apologies for the scattered images of last evening…but I pulled it together and it became this) Thank you to Taylor for purchasing this piece at auction and to Teri for wanting it.
I’ve got to say, leaving cSPACE and entering into Newzones created a huge contrast for me! It goes to show what a variety of opportunities we have in the Calgary art scene. Director, Tamar Zenith, gave us a quick introduction to the work and an entry point into the current exhibit of Franco DeFrancesca’s works.
The tour group members (quickly becoming friends), wandered independently, reacting to the works, the light and residual thinking around cSPACE. I liked how the DeFrancesca works reflected the environment and also how the clean surfaces of the space reflected the works. I think this is what I tried to capture in these few photographs.
Most appealing to me in this space, though, were the works created by artist Sophie Jodoin…an intimate exhibit titled Open Letters. Lovely, while at the same time, somewhat unnerving the perfectly executed drawings (conte on mylar and in altered proportion), immediately stirred up recollections of correspondence…exchanges of words…nostalgia…mystery…boundaries…human interactions and connection. I walked away saying, “I still write Christmas cards,” as though the art somehow communicated that that was important. An interesting bit of writing about Sophie can be found here.
She includes these thoughts on drawing…to begin, in reference to an exhibit in Vancouver titled, Small Dramas & Little Nothings.
“I see them as chambers of our lives. You wander through it and each body of work makes you question how you live your own life and the kinds of struggles you might be going through,” she said.
Jodoin is referring to close your eyes, an exhibition from an artist dedicated to the medium of drawing and known to explore themes rich with emotion. Four years of artwork is included in the show, including a video and three bodies of work comprising mostly drawings and collages: Small Dramas & Little Nothings, a series of 90 small drawings; Charred, five larger works; and Vigils, four large unframed drawings.
For Jodoin, drawing is more of an attitude than a medium.
“I see them all as drawing,” she said in a telephone interview from Montreal. “It’s undefined for me by the medium, or even the fact that it’s monochrome. It’s really the way I do art.”
Jodoin earned her fine arts degree from Concordia University nearly 25 years ago, and since 2003, her drawings have been exclusively in black and white, on paper and mylar, usually completed over the course of one day.
“Drawing—if you don’t do very large scale obsessive drawings—allows you this kind of immediacy,” she said. “I work very quickly, and I usually build bodies of work, series. I relate to them as diaries and notations.”
Thank you to Newzones and to Wendy Lees of Love Art In Calgary.
The Loch Gallery at 1516 4th Street SW provided us with another experience, that of a very classy commercial art gallery. The art that one will enjoy at this venue includes work by a number of contemporary artists, but also a nice historical collection. Again, the proprietor, Ian Loch (son of David Loch) was very welcoming, as was Nancy Smith, pictured below with tour participant and friend, Michelena. I was taken by a few images in the exhibit, Best of the Contemporary. Jacques Payette’s encaustic pieces struck me as rich with multiple layers and textural qualities. The wolf bronzes also appealed to me because of my recent work. It was such a fantastic day of viewing art. I will try to keep my readers updated on future tours that will cover other venues with the same delicious energy!
If you have been tucking your art hearts away somewhere, please share your photo with me and I will post it on this blog post! If you haven’t been to the Gorilla Battles, it’s time for you to start your own collection of hearts! ;0)
I have a part of my collection on my Haitian chicken sculpture.
Belinda’s Art Hearts: Photo Credit Belinda Fireman
Melissa’s art hearts: Photo Credit Melissa Centofanti
Marceline’s Art Hearts on her dash.
Debbie’s Art Hearts on her Phone.
Baby’s Art Heart…due to meet all gorillas any day now.
Morgan’s Art Hearts on leather. And the eye???
Rinse Room Art Heart
Bathroom Mirror Art Hearts
Play Me Art Heart
Some of Shauna’s art hearts!
Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. Jules Renard
I am so excited about it! In fact, I spent about thirty minutes trying to construct it at the beginning of the evening…four ‘easy’ steps…and had a hoot with a couple of female artists, working through the process. It is interesting to discover how one problem solves when one is an artist. Well, enough said!
Last evening’s energizing concepts were so disconnected and random. That is the way Gorilla House artists regularly feel at that moment at the top of seven o’clock when the wheel of doom is spun. The first concept was ‘a Cadillac to heaven’. Next, ‘zombie’. And the final one…’finger prints on glossy paper’. In retrospect, I wish that I had focused more on the third idea…but, surprisingly, I went for the ZOMBIE. This was like throwing caution to the wind!
I decided to fragment a photograph of Rich Theroux, the visionary behind the Calgary Gorilla House. (Rich has got to feel like a zombie sometimes (whatever that feels like) as he is working full time and keeping the House going and being a great dad and husband).Two hours did not allow for much of a portrait and the person who won this painting at auction has allowed me to bring it home to extend my painting time. Whoot! Ideally, the portrait of Rich will be very descriptive while the background spinning around Rich will be surreal and painterly. So, in order to create that juxtaposition, I need more time with the portrait. Because I was working with grid references in the figure, the right and left sides of the face do not align, diminishing the accuracy of the facade. In the studio this week, I will have time for those corrections.
Photo Credit: Terry Storey
The idea bubble to the right of the composition represents the initial concept for the HOUSE and the text reads, “Heaven is the Conversation”. I think that this is the most wonderful thing about this place…the sort of conversation that is possible between artist and viewer. Special thanks to Desere for her encouragement and observation in the final moments of the battle.
Photo Credit: Terry Storey
Thanks to David Pascoe for purchasing this piece at auction!
And thanks to my beautiful daughter, Cayley, for feeding me warm cookies at her place, after the LIVE ART battle! I love you, Cayley!