By Robin Laurence
HOME ECONOMICS: 150 YEARS OF CANADIAN HOOKED RUGS
Borealis Gallery, Legislative Assembly Visitor Centre, Edmonton. To Apr 23
Touring from the Textile Museum of Canada, this exhibition of hooked rugs demonstrates the origins of a true Canadian folk art in poverty, frugality, and the resourceful reuse of old materials. It follows rug hooking of the late 19th and early 20th century up to the present day, exemplifying the craft’s enduring creative and expressive potential. Among those on view are works by Florence Ryder, who adapted geometric Sioux designs to East Coast folk traditions.
BLAKE SENINI: DEAR NEVERMORE
Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary. To May 15
Calgary-based sculptor Blake Senini takes inspiration from the relationship between the play of light and the medium of photography. Often working in wood, which he may finish with cochineal dye, lacquer paint, and brass or copper leaf, he creates evocative forms that range from the organic to the geometric. Rather than attempt to dictate a reading of sculptures that may suggest anything from a splayed fan to a heap of feathered wings, Senini invites viewers to bring their own experiences and interpretations to bear.
Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton. April 13 – 25
Widely acclaimed artist Jason Carter, from the Little Red River Cree Nation, works across painting, sculpture, illustration and public art. Carter’s stone carvings and brightly coloured, darkly outlined paintings – reminiscent of stained glass – often retell stories passed on to him from the elders of his community. Featuring wild creatures, such as Bear, Moose and Raven, the stories combine traditional narratives with Carter’s rich imagination to tell what he calls “new stories filled with wonder and morals.”
LAARA CASSELLS: _AFTER
Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Ban . Apr 13 – Jun 9
Realist artist Laara Cassells juxtaposes the subjects of historical portrait paintings with contemporary models as the latter interact with electronic devices such as cellphones, tablets and laptop computers. Executed in exquisite detail, these double portraits suggest a subtle degree of interaction between young people past and present, while also articulating their di erences. Cassells’ work is displayed in conjunction with Carl White’s equally engaging deconstructions of historic painting tropes and techniques.
VIKINGS: BEYOND THE LEGEND
Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton. Apr 18 – Oct 20
Viking culture, society and technology are on display in this internationally touring exhibition – and so is a 37-metre-long Viking warship. Reconstructed using 25% of the original planks, estimated to be 1,000 years old, the ship, together with models, sculptures, tools, jewellery, coins and interactive displays, will provide viewers with an expansive picture of Viking life, history, artisanship and infl uence. Vikings is on loan from the National Museum of Denmark.