Sunday 15 September 2013

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines


+ The Residencies List
Andrea Williamson, Dazzle Ship sculpture and performance at the opening of the White Rabbit Festival, 2011. Image courtesy of the artist.  - Essential reading for artists!

My week was divided among three projects: taking care of loose ends from HOT MUD, writing an introduction to a catalogue for Two Rivers Gallery in B.C. which will be showing Will Gill's paintings , and writing the exhibition proposal for the tattoo project.  Throw in helping clients with applications for provincial arts grants due middle of the month and you get a general idea of my week.  Busy!  My frustrations however, melted away watching Maaike Charron beam while she got to leaf through–HOT MUD- her very first catalogue, which I hand delivered.

This painting by Will Gill is titled Lost Finger

On Monday I travelled back from Burlington to St. John's.  With layovers it was a long trip but I had filled my carried on with publications, like C magazine, I had not had a chance to read.  Another one of those was Dreamzine, the publication launched during the 24-Hour Art Marathon.  It was a great read and I enjoyed every page.  One of the images was a reproduction of a digital image by Will Gill that showed his finger swollen and stapled shut.  Clearly, some nasty business had gone on and Will's finger was the casualty.  

Coincidentally, I discovered the above painting among the images that the curator George Harris shared with me. It is titled Lost Finger.  There is a visceral and gestural quality to the body of painting that Two Rivers Gallery will be showing.  I am intrigued by the notion of risk and fear that pervades the paintings and how Will Gill manages not to make these negative.  I could say the same is true of the work he showed at the Venice Biennale, which referred to drowning.  One question that bumps around in my head is how an artist works across media and which one does he decide to use.  It is like speaking different languages for different purposes.

Part of the joy of HOT MUD is that I got to trade notes and impressions with my fellow panelists: Alan Elder from the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Rachel Gotlieb from the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Greg Payce from the Alberta College of Art and Design, and Sally Michener from the Emily Carr School of Art.  In the day and age of Skype, and virtual meetings it was a treat to be able to have "face time" and try and see into the future.  After all, 2015 the next Year of Craft is just around the corner.  My one surprise is that none of the artists or even the symposium delegates approached us for feedback on the work in the show.  It was a great opportunity… that was missed in my opinion.  I did make a point of sharing some comments with Robin Dupont, who I think is at a crossroads.  Mind you, whichever way he decides to go in his work, he is likely to be very successful.  He is an interesting talent to watch.

Robin Dupont's work in HOT MUD was in the vein of the TOUCH series.

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