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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | November 2013 – January 2014

By Robin Laurence

NELSON AT WAR Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History, Sep 14-Nov 24 Nelson, British Columbia saw many of its young people head off to both World Wars. Many never returned, and those who did were profoundly altered by their experiences – as were the people who remained at home and those who relocated to internment camps in the Nelson area. This exhibition, featuring historic photographs, news clippings and artifacts, examines the changes war has wrought on the community.

BABAK GOLKAR: DIALECTIC OF FAILURE West Vancouver Museum, West Vancouver, Oct 11-Dec 7 Vancouver artist Babak Golkar uses the humble medium of clay to explore oppositions of historicism and modernity, art and craft, modern reasoning and ancient mysticism. His three-part exhibition includes organic-looking clay pots designed for visitors to pick up and scream into; a video projection of lumps of clay being thrown against a sheet of drywall; and that same stained sheet of drywall, together with bent, folded and flattened lumps of clay in their fired state.

REALITEIT Jennifer Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, Oct 17-Nov 15 In conjunction with the Capture Photography Festival, this exhibition of gallery artists reveals how subjective “reality” is. Dianne Bos uses a multi-holed camera to create images of faux galaxies; David Burdeny employs a large-format camera and long exposure times in the realization of compellingly detailed, almost surreal landscapes; Jim Kazanjian employs “hyper collage” to produce fantastical, sci-fi-like scenes; and Catherine Nelson digitally “paints” hundreds of photographic images together in her re-imaginings of the natural world.

JAYCE SALLOUM: LOCATION/DIS-LOCATION(S) grunt gallery, Vancouver, Oct 25-Nov 30 This photographic installation continues Jayce Salloum’s critical engagement with natural and constructed environments. Shot during the artist’s recent travels, the images feature ideological signs or signifiers and evoke a shifting sense of what is familiar and what is foreign. Ranging from piles of driftwood to abandoned furniture, smokestacks, spiders and potholes in a gravel road, Salloum’s photos also show us the places where nature butts up against culture, and vice versa.

EMMA MCLAY: RECLAIMANT Xchanges Gallery, Victoria, Nov 1-24 At once tough and fragile, opaque and transparent, Emma McLay’s new, wall-mounted assemblages explore “a woman’s reproductive journey through the medical system.” McLay uses a combination of acrylic paint, metal, wood, glass and fibre to express a range of physical and emotional experiences, ultimately focusing, she says, “on female identity being asserted and empowered through the maternal journey.” This Pender Island artist earned an MFA in painting at the University of Alberta. Her new work evolved from her much-lauded graduating project.

THIS IS WHERE I GO: A MAIL ART EXHIBITION Britannia Art Gallery, Vancouver, Nov 6-29 Mail art, or correspondence art, first gained wide attention in the 1960s and ’70s. This exhibition demonstrates the widely inclusive and international nature of the movement. Curator and artist Laura Bucci invited participants (via online mail portals) to contribute four- by six-inch original postcards on a “This is Where I Go” theme, and she received over 100 submissions from both adults and children in more than 25 countries.

KEITH RICE-JONES: WORKING THE EDGE Art Gallery at Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam, Nov 14-Jan 9 This senior West Coast artist, who originally trained as a woodwork teacher in England, began working in clay in the early 1970s. Influenced by the modernist ideals of incorporating art and design, Rice-Jones has produced a range of works in the ceramic medium, from dishes, bowls and platters to wall-mounted relief sculptures, floor murals and large-scale public commissions. This retrospective exhibition demonstrates the length and breadth of his creative journey, and the natural rhythms and philosophical questions that have informed his art.

VOLUMES: WORKS IN PAPER Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, Nov 29-Jan 19 The established and emerging artists in this exhibition make ambitious use of paper as a structural medium rather than simply as a ground for graphic art production. The works on view include installation, large-scale printmaking, paper cuts and sculpture. Included are Teresa Ilene Redden’s intricately patterned paper cube, Myra Edie’s photo-etchings of gloves and stockings mounted on pressboard, and Maggie Boyd’s marriage of the drawing medium with ceramics.

CLASH: CONFLICT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES The Reach Gallery, Abbotsford, Jan 23-Mar 30 This powerful travelling exhibition explores the many ways the camera registers human conflict. Photographs range from Sam Tata’s documents of the fall of Shanghai in 1949 and Michael Mitchell’s records of the struggle between the Sandinistas and the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s to Larry Towell’s close-up observations of the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2000 and Jin-me Yoon’s performance photos on the theme of the enduring impact of the Korean War. Whether derived from the documentary tradition or from fictional recreations of conflict, the images in Clash remind us of the relationship of photography to memory and to the ways history is told.

CHARLES EDENSHAW Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Oct 26-Feb 2 This is the first major survey of the work of Charles Edenshaw, the most famous and influential of the Haida artists working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Over 200 of his pieces – in silver, argillite, wood and paint – have been gathered from public and private collections around the world, and together reveal the tremendous inventiveness and technical facility of this revered Northwest Coast artist.

Nelson At War
Nelson At War

Babak Golkar
Babak Golkar

Realiteit
Realiteit

Jayce Salloum
Jayce Salloum

Emma McLay
Emma McLay

This Is Where I Go
This Is Where I Go

Keith Rice-Jones
Keith Rice-Jones

Volumes: Works in Paper
Volumes: Works in Paper

Clash
Clash

Charles Edenshaw
Charles Edenshaw

 Sat, Nov 9, 2013