Friday, 1 August 2014

Tors Cove Talent Celebrates Halley's Day

This is a design by Sheila Coultas that will be painted on the wall outside Five Island Gallery for August 2.
This Saturday I allowed myself to be whisked away to Tors Cove, where I was expecting to enjoy a relaxing day "around the bay".  No such chance!   It proved to be a day of intense conversation and discovery as I bounced between gallery and studios.  The fish plant may be closed but the cultural industries in Tors Cove are going full tilt.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year is Five Island Art Gallery.  Knowing that Frances Ennis and Bill Coultas were involved, I expected to see some hooked mats and photography but I was not prepared for an entire schoolhouse full of paintings!  It seemed "all the familiar suspects" were there, plus many names I did not recognize even after twenty years of looking at art in this province.  The bulk of the painting was representational and colourful but the full gamut of price range was covered from modestly priced watercolours to large works that would represent a significant investment in anyone's budget.

A sampling of McCausland's treasures on sale: character-rich dolls, jewellery and felted goodies.

Catherine McCausland has opened her home studio, BalleyCatter Crafts, to the public this summer.  I think of her as a textile artist extraordinare, someone I can count on to create small whimsies that I can wear on my wrist or decorate a Christmas tree with as well as create installation-sized work when the theme merits.  My big surprise was that she was unveiling the product of five years of intense experimentation with felting.  McCausland has created felted pieces for the wall that evoke the watery worlds of Monet.  However, where Monet portrayed Giverny, Catherine studies the Barrens and the rolling hills and sparkling ocean of her home cove.

Completing the day for me was a visit with Marnie Parsons at Running The Goat Printshop.  I recognized the drawers of typeface that I love and the familiar sight of the sturdy letterpress that I had originally fallen in love with in her "townie" location but her spanking new set up includes an impressive Heidelberg–The Prince of the Presses.  I confess I feared for Marnie's long flowing skirt when I saw those vacuum suckers and wind mill blade in action. 

These three venues are collaboratively hosting a special day of  craft, poetry and family fun on August 2nd to mark the 314th anniversary of the arrival of Sir Edmond Halley (the astronomer and geophysicist for whom Halley’s comet was named) in Tors Cove. At the end of a prolonged scientific voyage, Halley came to Tors Cove looking for fresh water and wood, and was greeted with gunfire. Apparently, local fishermen mistook his vessel for a pirate ship. A rude welcome, whatever way it was.

A study of the comet by Sheila Coultas

Schedule for the day:

Five Island Art Gallery: Halley’s Comet Flying Over Tors Cove
10 am – 6 pm
·      Help artist Sheila Coultas paint her version of Halley’s Comet flying over Tors Cove on the concrete wall by the old schoolhouse.
·      Try your hand at rug hooking with Frances Ennis as she begins hooking another version of Halley’s Comet over Tors Cove.
·      Or, chat with artist Dave Hoddinott as he creates a new painting.

BallyCatter Crafts: Halley's Approach to Tors Cove and Islands
10 am – 6 pm
·      Discuss map-making with artist Catherine McCausland and cartographer Pierre Garigue.
·      Observe Catherine as she works on a handmade felt map inspired by modern data and ancient charts.
·      Add compass readings and map-detailing to sample maps.

Running the Goat Printshop: Edmond Halley in Toad’s Cove
11 am – 6 pm
·      See the letterpress-printed broadside featuring new poem by Des Walsh, commissioned for the day
·      Make star paper crafts

Collaborative Activities
7 – 8:30 pm
·      Light-poem installations
·      readings by David Benson
·      sparklers, and
·      revelry.

All Welcome!

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