By Robin Laurence
ERICA GRIMM: SALT WATER SKIN BOATS The Reach Gallery Museum,
Abbotsford, To May 5
Working in collaboration with sound artist Sheinagh Anderson and arborist-artist Tracie Stewart, Erica Grimm looks at our deep and abiding connection with the world’s oceans. Grimm’s installation comprises sculptural forms that are inspired by ancient water-going vessels. Made of a range of materials, including willow, dogwood, cheesecloth, bathymetric maps, beeswax, binder twine and LED lights, these forms are suspended in the dimly lit gallery and are complemented by an evocative soundscape.
MOLLY LAMB BOBAK: TALK OF THE TOWN Burnaby Art Gallery,
Burnaby, To Apr 8
Featured in this exhibition are paintings and drawings of crowd scenes, urban panoramas and architectural subjects by the late Molly Lamb Bobak, mostly created in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Raised in Burnaby, Lamb Bobak studied with Jack Shadbolt at the Vancouver School of Art, then enlisted in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, becoming the first female official Canadian war artist. Her street scenes range from bombed-out buildings and faceless people to lively crowds conveying energy and optimism.
BETA VULGARIS: THE SUGAR BEET PROJECTS Nikkei National Museum,
Burnaby, Feb 10-May 27
Kelty Miyoshi McKinnon creates a sculptural installation entirely out of molten, burnt and sculpted sugar. With visual allusions to a Japanese rock garden and a field of sugar beets, Beta Vulgaris calls up our country’s shameful wartime history. During this period, Japanese Canadians were displaced from the British Columbia coast and interned, many of them then forced to labour on sugar beet farms on the Prairies. The installation includes video
projections of historic images and a koto soundscape by Keri Latimer.
LANDFALL AND DEPARTURE: EPILOGUE Nanaimo Art Gallery, To Mar 10
This ambitious group exhibition considers resources distributed upon and extracted from the sea while also alerting us to our misunderstanding of the sea’s creatures and currents. As expressed in its media release, Landfall and Departure “endeavours to listen to the sea through contemporary visual
art, sound works, presentations and performances.” Perspectives range from those of citizen scientists monitoring salmon stocks in the Broughton Archipelago, to workers on a cargo ship plying international waters.
NORTH VANCOUVER The Polygon Gallery, North Vancouver, To Spring 2018
The gallery’s inaugural exhibition brings together existing and commissioned artworks that take North Vancouver as their subject. Reflecting on the municipality’s history, geography and cultures, they range from weavings and cedar sculptures by contemporary Coast Salish artists to large-scale photographs and video installations by non-Indigenous artists. Of special note is Myfanwy MacLeod’s The Butcher’s Apron, a one-eighth scale model of Captain George Vancouver’s ship, HMS Discovery.
MARCIA PITCH: ABOUT FACE City Hall Galleria, Richmond, To Mar 5
Vancouver-based artist Marcia Pitch is best known for her small assemblages of found objects, often toys, and their play with the odd and the grotesque. Featured here, however, are recent collages that employ the deconstructed and reconstructed human face to address body politics, genetic manipulation, and the impact of pollution and climate change on natural evolution. Installed at Richmond City Hall, Pitch’s show is part of the Richmond Art Gallery’s community outreach program.
BRENT WADDEN: TWO SCORES Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, To Mar 25
Acclaimed for his large-scale weavings that function as abstract paintings, Brent Wadden launched his career in Europe while living in Berlin. Now based in Vancouver, he has filled both of the gallery’s exhibition spaces, from floor to ceiling, with an ambitious installation of textile assemblages. A self-taught weaver, working with used yarn reclaimed from found blankets and garments, Wadden creates process-driven work that is described as “exploratory, laborious and purposefully naïve.”
ENN ERISALU Gallery Jones, Vancouver, Feb 1-28
This exhibition of text-based paintings by the late Enn Erisalu calls our
attention to one of Vancouver’s most thoughtful, accomplished and under-appreciated artists. Essentially an abstractionist, Erisalu began experimenting with painted language at mid-career, laying words, numbers and chemical formulas on washy grounds. Many of these works allude to the processes, materials and scale employed in their own making, or to the ambiguous nature of language as it relates to the painted image.
FORM AS MEANING: FIRST NATIONS PRINTS FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, To Apr 29
Co-curated by a team of artists and scholars – including Marcia Crosby,
lessLIE, Lou-ann Neel, Alana Sayers and India Young, this exhibition spotlights First Nations prints from the gallery’s permanent collection. The curators have selected works illuminating the ways in which each may communicate meaning, similar to written language or oral history. Analysis and interpretation of formal elements reveal cultural narratives and highlight the works’ importance to an understanding of Indigenous communities.
STONE AND SKY: CANADA’S MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE
Audain Art Museum, Whistler, To Feb 26
Complementing the museum’s displays of its permanent collection, this temporary show of paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and watercolours feeds our national fascination with mountain landscapes. Each artist has taken on the challenge of representing a vast and at times overwhelming subject. Stone and Sky spans 150 years of creative production and includes works by Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Kenojuak Ashevak, Takao Tanabe, Ann Kipling and Edward Burtynsky.