By Robin Laurance
AMALIE ATKINS: WHERE THE HOUR FLOATS
Art Gallery at Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam. To Apr 21
Saskatoon-based, multidisciplinary artist Amalie Atkins has created a series of linked stories in the form of short fi lms and large-format photographs. Featuring an all female cast and set in a vast prairie landscape, these works “knit together autobiography with cultural history, fantasy with reality, and the conceptual with the emotional.” Atkins’ exhibition is part of the 2019 Capture Photography Festival and is her first in the Metro Vancouver area.
CORRINE HUNT: RESILIENCE 2019
Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver. To Apr 26
Resilience through laughter is the prevailing theme of Corrine Hunt’s solo show. Having faced considerable hardship and adversity in her life, the Kwakwaka’wakw-Tlingit artist and designer decided to joyfully “reframe” her experience. Her inventive new work is “an opportunity to let go of the anger and negativity in the world right now, and explore the other side,” she says. Here, her lively ideas express themselves through her palette of bright colours and her inventive use of silver, cedar and reclaimed materials.
COUNTERNARRATIVES: WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS BY ARCHIBALD FAIRBAIRN
Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, Vancouver. To Jun 2
Historic record or cultural appropriation? Colonial gaze or post-colonial re-evaluation Watercolour paintings by the late South Africa–born, Vancouver Island–based artist Archibald Fairbairn (1888-1979) depict First Nations villages and totem poles on Haida Gwaii and in the Skeena and Bulkley valleys. Based on sketching trips undertaken in the 1930s and ’40s and executed in the English watercolour tradition, Fairbairn’s images are interpreted through a range of contemporary Indigenous voices.
JANE EVERETT: UNDERSTORY
Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna. To Jun 16
In this powerfully immersive installation, large-scale charcoal drawings on drafting film create the sensation of standing within a forested landscape in the interior of British Columbia. Viewers look up into the branches of lodgepole pines, ponderosa pines and Douglas fi rs, which seem to waft and sway in the breeze. Jane Everett also introduces sobering alien elements into our viewing experience, including hydroelectric lines and pine beetle die-o , reminding us of the human impact on the natural environment.
GRACE GORDON-COLLINS: THE DRESS
Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver. Apr 4 – 27
In North America, few articles of clothing are as charged with social and emotional meaning as the wedding dress – the subject of this exhibition of digital photographs, photograms and text. With their dreamy, surreal qualities, the photograms are a particularly evocative depiction of wedding dresses through four generations of the artist’s family. Grace Gordon-Collins is a multidisciplinary artist whose award-winning practice includes architecture, design and fi ne art photography.
THERE IS TRUTH HERE
Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver. Apr 5, 2019 – Jan 2020
Subtitled Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools, this exhibition brings us rare surviving paintings, drawings, and sewing and beading samples, along with documents of drum work, drama and singing, by Indigenous children in British Columbia and Manitoba. Images include wild animals, warriors with bows and arrows, scenes of labour and daily life, and – most harrowing – smiling ghosts and skeletons dancing in a graveyard. All bear witness to the experiences of survivors.
Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George. Apr 12 – Jul 7
Featuring stellar Canadian artists working solo and collaboratively, this show poses questions about 21st-century electronic communications. Is it possible that even as we are more globally connected than ever before, we are also more disconnected – our digital devices alienating us from face-to-face human interactions? Media range across painting, video, installation and photography, and artists featured are Mathieu Doyon, Simon Rivest, Shawna Dempsey, Lorri Millan, Diyan Achjadi, Brendan Lee Satish Tang and Jeroen Witvliet.
OMER ARBEL: PARTICLES FOR THE BUILT WORLD
Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey. Apr 13 – Jun 16
Based in Vancouver and Berlin, Omer Arbel is a designer and sculptor acclaimed for his experimental approach to his profession and for his concept-driven research into materials. This exhibition features his unconventional use of concrete, which he has poured into fabric rather than plywood moulds, resulting in rounded organic rather than rectilinear architectural forms. Cutaways into fabric-moulded concrete along with tall pillars in the shape of inverted trumpets provide insights into Arbel’s working methods.
TAFADZWA TIGERE TANDI and ARTHUR MANYENGEDZO
Ukama Gallery, Vancouver. May 1 – 16
This exhibition spotlights the work of two leading stone sculptors from Zimbabwe. Arthur Manyengedzo is recognized for his semi-abstract interpretations of human and animal subjects; he has said that he is sometimes inspired by the raw stone and sometimes by his dreams. Tafadzwa Tigere Tandi works in a realistic style and is best known for his detailed busts of men and women in traditional headwear and jewellery, executed in hard stone such as verdite, lepidolite, dolomite and “butter jade.”
Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Vancouver. May 18 – Nov 10
Large-scale photographs of biological specimens by Julya Hajnoczky and miniature treasure boxes of reconstructed flowers by Katrina Vera Wong reflect on life and death, love and loss, and the beauty and fragility of existence. Hajnoczky places natural forms such as moss, bones and feathers on a high-resolution scanner to produce meticulously detailed images, while Wong pieces together parts of pressed or dried flowers, particularly orchids, to create hybrids that she calls “Frankenflora.”