Opening Reception: Friday, February 3rd, 2017 | 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Many visitors to last year’s Lumière Arts Festival will remember Karen Stentaford’s travelling tintype studio, which was located in downtown Sydney at the top of Charlotte Street. The Sackville-based photographer spent the evening making portraits using the 19th century tintype technique and made pictures of dozens of visitors using the now-rare photographic process. The results of this work will be on display at the CBU Art Gallery in conjunction with the ‘Proletariart’ community art exhibition.
Karen Stentaford is an artist and educator who works primarily in medium and large format photography, often employing toy cameras and alternative processes. Since 2012, much of her work has been made using the wet plate collodion process—glass negatives and tintypes. Her recent bodies of work investigate ideas of place and memory influenced by the Newfoundland landscape of her childhood. Karen is the photography technician and lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts at Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB.
SakKijâjuk – a Labrador Inuit term meaning, “to be visible” – highlights the little known craft and artworks produced in Nunatsiavut (the Inuit region of Labrador) over half a century of exciting, diverse production. The exhibition features the work of dozens of artists in photography, sculpture, painting, clothing, drawing, printmaking, basketry, film, video, and the textile arts. The exhibition opens at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery before touring across Canada.
Michelle Baikie, The Hunter, 1998, 35.56 x 25.4cm, digital photograph, Collection of the artist
During their 2016 artist residency at The Rooms, Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley became fascinated by the many stories of people losing track of time and place while berry-picking and the associated folkloric narratives that attempt to explain this phenomena. Using archival images, sound, and berry-dyed fabrics, they reflect upon how perception can shift to disorientation even in the most familiar landscapes.
Leisure, Narrative no. 9, Digital photograph, 2016
Exuvia is an exhibition of funerary jars, sometimes referred to as reliquaries or urns. At the end of its time developing undergound, the cicada digs to the surface to move from one life stage to the next. In this process of change the cicada leaves behind a shell, called the exuvia, and it flies away. At some level the finished jar is a likeness of who it is that will transition, important not for what it holds but for what has stepped out and flown away leaving an essential hint of what lives on.
Rachel Morouney, crenellated fan pattern, carved and glazed ceramic, 2014. photo credit: images courtesy of the artist
An annual holiday exhibition of finely crafted objects that evoke all the good things celebrated during this special time of the year.
COMFORT & JOY is a group exhibition that celebrates all the good things we associate with the holiday season: home, family and friends with the creativity, insight and good humour we have come to expect from our makers. It can offer a contemporary and accessible interpretation of traditional and non-traditional activities and ideas associated with this season.
Kevin Coates, Splitting Wood for Winter, Wood carving, 2015. Photo credit: Ned Pratt
Borrowing heavily from the language of wine, this 3-part exhibition strategy proposes to look at regional artistic production through the cultural milieu from which it emerges. Terroir is defined as “the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.” Terroir is a survey of the AGNS permanent collection with a special focus on Nova Scotia roots — the history and culture of place informing its artistic community’s output. This exhibition tours the province exploring the flavour and makeup of the work collected over the AGNS’ history.
Image credit: Jones Bannerman, Frances M, Still Life with Lobster (detail), c.1883, Oil on canvas, 51.5 x 65.0 cm. Collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1933.4
A permanent exhibition space devoted to the work of Alex Colville (1920-2013), one of Canada’s most celebrated artists and one of Mount Allison University’s best known graduates. The Gallery features the installation of the mural Athletes, commissioned by Mount Allison for its new Athletic Centre in 1961. Designed around the theme of the student athlete, the mural was the focal point of the new building; it remained there for over 50 years, until its present installation in the stable and secure environment of Owens Art Gallery. Other artworks by Colville are also on view, including many of the preparatory drawings for Athletes and examples of the artist’s serigraphs.
Alex Colville, Athletes, oil and synthetic resin on board, 1961.
Janice Leonard’s work continues her fascination with a place where her roots and history permanently reside. The land still has that atmosphere and a sense of timelessness that she never loses.
In this series she is looking at the surrealism of an era when technology produces immediate references to an unending natural environment.
Leonard still uses sketches and notes as a primary reference, but now her iPhone camera has become an essential tool as well. The photos are tagged geographically as “Annapolis Subd. B” an ironically clinical description of a place named “paradise”.
Janice Leonard, Paradise, 8:16 p.m., Last night before I head home, acrylic on canvas, 2016
Digital video, 11:55, looped
Alternately one or two images projected side by side, this video installation shows a woman transporting a cumbersome scaffolding through various spacious landscapes and an autumnal forest. Entering the field of one projection and going out of the other, this woman makes a Sisyphean movement, repeating from a place to another in a continuous mobility.
Ephemeral structures composing our urban landscape, the scaffolding characterize the spectacle of the everyday life and is a common figure of our collective imaginary. By pulling this structure with the strength of her arms, this woman, whom no detail distinguishes, mediates the relationship that every individual maintains with a coercive environment. Her solitude, in the context of this uncultivated space from the field and the forest, sends back to the difficulty collectively felt by all to project in the future, by definition indefinite.
Jessica Arseneau, born in 1988 in Bathurst, New Brunswick, is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in Leipzig, Germany. She received her B.A. from the Université de Moncton (2011) and was a member of the cooperative artist studio Atelier King Kong from 2013 to 2015 (Montreal). Public presentations of her work occurred at art spaces such as Darling Foundry in Montreal, BronxArtSpace in New York, Galerie Sans Nom in Moncton, and Janaklees for Visual Arts in Alexandria. Recently, her work has been shown at Traverse Vidéo in Toulouse, HGB Gallery and Gallery Bipolar both in Leipzig.
Her work embodies reflections on various aspects of mobility, precariousness and the collective imaginary. Within performance, installation and digital media, her work takes the form of poetic gesture.
In 1977, a flamingo landed on the coast of Newfoundland and was immediately shot. Now preserved in the collection of The Rooms, the strange story of how this tropical bird came to be in its final resting place far from home is the starting point for this contemporary art exhibition that explores the inherent absurdity and poignancy of collecting behaviour. What motivates us to collect? How do we choose what to include and exclude from our collections and exhibitions? Artworks by local, national, and international artists are bought together with a selection of works from The Rooms Permanent Collections that have never before been exhibited. Throughout, works that incorporate song and voice elude to absence and elegy, but also to the limitless power of sound to exclaim presence, even when there is no “room” for physical inclusion. The end result is a sumptuous, poetic experience for the eyes, and ears.
David R. Harper, Learning to Love You (detail), Wood, steel, cast polymer with virgin paper pulp, photo paper, enamel, paint.2015. photo credit: Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid
Sara Cwynar, Soft Film, 16mm film transferred to digital video, 2016
The next installation of Truth or Myth? draws on the permanent collection to explore the changing relationship between cultural identity and food in Newfoundland and Labrador, as portrayed by artists such as Grant Boland, Martin Lyons, Derrick Pottle, Mary Pratt, and Helen Parsons Shepherd.
Grant Boland, High Class Candies, oil on canvas, 2002. Photo credit: The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Collection
A major new video work by the Vancouver-based artist explores the practiced rhythms of everyday motions in a montage of documentary and narrative.
Cutline: Allison Hrabluik, video still from The Splits, 2015, digital video, 15:00. Image courtesy of the artist.