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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | September – October 2015

By Robin Laurence

HERE AND THERE Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton, Jul 11-Oct 3 This group show spotlights 17 Alberta Craft Council artists who have not only enjoyed success at home but also developed their careers internationally. One of the criteria here is that the work on view has been either produced abroad or influenced by knowledge and experience gleaned from abroad. Among the contemporary and heritage crafts on display are Dirk van Wyk’s banner of handmade paper stitched with polyester thread, Tyler Rock’s surreal glass sculpture, and Dawn Deterando’s ceramic “pie.”

SEAN CAULFIELD Alberta Printmakers Gallery and Studio (Art Commons +15 Window), Calgary, Aug 15-Sep 26 Through his installation of large-scale woodblock prints, Sean Caulfield continues his interest in “blurring the boundaries between the biological and the technological, the organic and the mechanical.” His images feature hybrid forms that investigate ideas of mutation, metamorphosis and the ways our understanding of science shape the ways we represent our world. Caulfield’s embrace of the woodblock also evokes the medium’s long history and its association with early examples of medical and scientific illustration.

KATIE OHE: ETHOS, NOW AND THEN Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary, Oct 15-Nov 14 A pioneer of abstract sculpture in Alberta, Katie Ohe is best known for her kinetic and interactive public art in welded steel. Her organic and geometric forms arise, she says, from everyday experience that serves as a “doorway” for personal expression. Among the works on view are her critically acclaimed series Sculpture Prayer and a new series of kinetic, floor sculptures titled The Chuckles. Remarkably, given her distinguished history as an influential senior artist and teacher, this is Ohe’s first exhibition in a commercial gallery.

JOHN CHALKE: SURFACE TENSION Nickle Galleries, Calgary, Oct 15-Dec 19 A beloved ceramicist and teacher, the late John Chalke was born in England in 1940 and arrived in Canada in 1968. Originally influenced by the pottery traditions of Japan and Korea, he later responded to the southwestern Albertan landscape with hand-built sculptures that he called “clay paintings” sculptures. His experiments with form, colour and texture have an almost archaeological character, suggesting excavations through layers of history and culture. As he once wrote, “My interest has remained inconveniently multi-faceted in most things ceramic.”

LESLIE POOLE: LANDSCAPE UP CLOSE Scott Gallery, Edmonton, Oct 17-Nov 7 Over the decades, West Coast painter Leslie Poole has exercised his representational practice across a range of genres, including still life, self-portraiture and landscape. The latter has compelled him again and again, even as his focus has changed from distant wilderness views to close-ups of individual landscape elements. Working from photographs, he paints isolated aspects of tree trunks, foliage and “ephemeral jigsaw shapes of sky” as seen through branches.

Dirk van Wyk
Dirk van Wyk

Sean Caulfield
Sean Caulfield

Katie Ohe
Katie Ohe

John Chalke
John Chalke

Leslie Poole
Leslie Poole

 Mon, Sep 7, 2015