Stephen Hutchings spent 10 days in the summer of 2013 on Nova Scotia’s south shore. The resulting series of paintings invoke the coast as the edge of land and sea. “Our experience of life is heightened at the edges of things, at moments of transition or change,” says Hutchings. His charcoal and oil paintings are considerations—in the form of landscape images—about life “at the edge,” whether that edge is the line between land and sea, or between sky and earth, or quite simply, between our internal and our external experiences.
Marking the 100th anniversary of WW1, the NS Designer Crafts Council members created works exploring the concept and meaning of “peace”.
On an elite squash court and desolate foreclosed properties in idyllic California, artists JEFF&GORDON explore the culture of “winner take all.” Adopting the metaphor of sport culture the artists examine the deeply ingrained values and belief systems within society at large that fosters economic inequality. Often disarmingly humorous view, this work consists of large scale video projection and video on monitor.
JEFF&GORDON is the collaboration of Los Angeles area artists Jeff Foye and Gordon Winiemko. In their video and performance based work, the artists examine the social customs and cultural idioms that are so much a part of the “air we breathe” that we often ignore how they shape our lives, for better or worse. Together they have exhibited at such venues as the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, the UC Riverside Sweeney Art Gallery, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Artist Talk October 31 at 4:30pm followed by an Opening Reception at 5:30 pm.
Anna Torma’s multi-layered, embroidered and painted silk tapestries seethe with brilliantly coloured fantasies, facts and curiosity about life, especially her life, as she does not separate her life from her art. The virtuoso installation, Bagatelles (2011), embraces viewers in a colourful extravaganza narrating imaginative scenes of biography and biology, paradise and nightmare. Having grown up on a farm in Hungary, Torma is completely at ease in her garden as the site of real life and source of metaphors for love, lust, nourishment, poesy, as well as evil and fear of the unknown. Her narrative montages flow freely between representation and language, juxtaposing floral anatomy with the alphabet while questioning your role in life. Adam and Eve often activate these scenes of screaming trees bending under storms of language, monstrous guardians roaring among fire-breathing serpents and barking dragons, all watched over by children, cats, and trickster smurfs. While the images might be hers, the stories are ultimately yours.
This exhibition at StFX marks Torma’s turn from colourful narratives towards linear abstraction in an austere palette of black and white. As she explores the depths of transparent layers of silk, we follow her venture into uncertainty as a shifty destination, as she strips away the familiar, working in layers that can be switched around so that their “plans” are defeated.
Torma stands at the forefront of world artists whose craft-based practices demand recognition as fine art. With its vivid and earthy post-feminist concerns with domesticity, desire, and finding one’s way through life’s conundrums, Torma’s work has won acclaim throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and China.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Anna Torma, RCA, grew up near the Hungarian village of Tarnaörs, east of Budapest. Through her grandmother’s and mother’s instruction she became skilled in the rich tradition of Hungarian embroidery. She almost studied medicine, but instead earned a degree in Textile Art and Design at Hungarian University of AppliedArts in Budapest (1979). With her sculptor husband, Istvan Zsako, Torma came to Canada in 1988, settling in Hamilton, ON. They subsequently moved to Baie Verte, NB, where she pursues her practice, and gardens.
ASAP Art Centre is hosting a workshop in embroidery techniques led by Anna Torma at the gallery on Saturday, November 8, from 12-5 pm. Although free, space is limited. For registration and information please visit www.facebook.com/asapartcentre or phone 902-867-2303 or 902-867-1852.
Opening reception, 6pm, Thursday, November 13th, 2014
Amanda McCavour, textile artist, is interested in thread’s assumed vulnerability, its ability to unravel, and its strength when it is sewn together. She uses a sewing machine to create thread drawings. By sewing into fabric that dissolves in water, she can build up stitched lines on a temporary surface. The crossing threads create strength so that when the fabric is dissolved only the threads remain, creating images that appear as though they may easily unravel.
The results are a floating world of intricate details. “Stand In For Home” installation is a thread rendering based on part of Amanda’s kitchen in a previous home. The creation of the piece required her to re-visit, remember and re-create a space that she called home but is no longer hers. This piece is a stand in, a synthetic, re-created version of home.
Through her installation ‘Floating Garden” (image at left) McCavour says “I have taken the flowers out of the samplers and books where I found them. I have embroidered them, reintegrated them into a simulated garden.”
Artist Talk, November 12, NSCAD University
Workshop, November 15,Cultural Federations of NS, email for details
The Spirit of the Caribou – The caribou has fed our bodies, souls and imagination for generations. In the Craft Council’s Main Gallery from September 6 – October 4, fourteen artists explore this rich cultural icon. Strong, graceful, resilient and threatened, the caribou is inextricably linked to the people of the North and rich in symbolism for Newfoundland and Labrador.
This group exhibition examines the caribou, a haunting animal that has sustained generations of Innu, symbolized strength for soldiers of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and inspired numerous artists across northern lands. Migratory, enduring – yet fragile – the caribou is a potent paradox for our time and culture. Shirley Moorhouse’s paintings reflect her concerns for Labrador caribou “Years ago I read an Inuit legend that explained where the vast caribou herds of Labrador once originated. Many years later I went on a caribou hunt in the Mealy Mountain foothills. Those once vast herds have disappeared.”
The Gallery was drawn to the theme of the Caribou because of its resonance with a multiplicity of communities and cultures. It is a potent metaphor for settler, aboriginal and contemporary artists interested in the relationship of people to land and nature in the past, present and future. Exhibitor Susan Furneaux reflects on her deep connection to the barrens of Newfoundland “ Caribou are ethereal creatures; a glimpse is always magical”.
The caribou is also the emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Five bronze caribou memorials symbolize our soldiers’ spirit and determination. It is a significant symbol as the province begins its 100 year commemorative activities honouring the sacrifices made by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in World War I.
This exhibition is curated by Gallery director Sharon LeRiche and independent curator and writer Gloria Hickey. Hickey writes in her essay, “When the Craft Council Gallery put out the call for The Spirit of the Caribou it was clear that a nerve was touched. It had a direct resonance with craftspeople and artists of many communities and interests: historical and military, ecological and environmental and let’s not forget pure childhood fantasy. The caribou has fed our bodies, souls and imagination for generations.”
In Entre le chien et le loup, Harper explores the doctrine and traditions of esoteric orders and secret societies, juxtaposing the nuances of ritual against the explicit message of traditional monument. His works consider the idea of order, whether in mystical terms or in the structures we create every day. Speaking to domesticity, spirituality, nature and mortality, Harper engages the viewer in a dialogue on the metaphoric weight that the objects present both historically and emotionally.
The idea of home is at the centre of Rhode Island-based Joan Backes installations. Her exhibition includes metal and wood house frameworks that occupy the gallery’s outside terrace. They resemble a child’s drawn outline of home with only roof and walls. Dwellings of a smaller scale, such as a group of opaque acrylic houses lit from within, are inside the gallery. All of these suggest an absent narrative of occupancy. Coincidently, Backes and her husband are building a full-size vacation home in Nova Scotia.
A landmark exhibition of more than 100 works by over 60 Canadian artists, organized by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Denise Markonish. This large exhibition will be presented in a collaborative, multi-venue format at the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University; the Confederation Centre Art Gallery; the Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen Art Gallery at Université de Moncton; and Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton. Sponsored by TD Bank Group with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Province of New Brunswick.
Featuring the work of 28 painters from across Nova Scotia, Capture 2014: Nova Scotian Realism seeks to dispel common assumptions about the nature of Realist art by presenting work by artists who are pushing its boundaries. Above all, the exhibition questions received notions of the status and place of Realism in the contexts of current art practices and contemporary society. Curated by Tom Smart & Peter Dykhuis. Organized and circulated by Dalhousie Art Gallery.
Guildford’s practice is based on the ebb and flow of the intertidal zone and inspired by the life that inhabits this nebulous region. For the artist, this zone symbolizes the uncertainty of life, the fluidity and constant change that is at the core of natural existence. The exhibition will include several of his crocheted ‘nets’, found and crafted sculptural objects and related works on paper. One of the nets will be exhibited in situ at the Bonne Bay Marine Station in beautiful Gros Morne National Park.