Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Conversation between Mark Adair and Jane Lowbeer

A crankee by Jane Lowbeer
Mark: What is a crankee?

Jane:  It is a medieval tv (that is something we have in common --the medieval part) in that it is an early form of story telling that originally was accompanied with song.  It consists of a box with a scroll inside that can be turned by hand. The scrolls in these wall mounted crankees are monoprints on Japanese paper.

Mark:  Having spent some time with your work I have some thoughts and feelings to share.  It seems that the work is only nominally about the passage of time. Shelf life denotes the limits of usefulness before things should be discarded.

Jane: As long as something is on a shelf then it has a life and if it is thrown away than it is gone. For sure some of the pieces speak more about time than others. ie, -the one with the birds, Rendez-vous. In my mind, drawing the unfurling ribbon is about the unraveling of a day, or a year or a life time . And when all three birds line up in the drawing,  it represents a moment of time of connection  like when you notice the bird outside singing and  feel okay.

Mark: The scroll format harkens back to antiquity. Using it as well as you have places your work in an ongoing tradition which removes it from the mental list of things to be discarded.

Jane: What were traditional scrolls used for? Contemplation?  Isn't contemplation about the passage of time. "Shelf Life " is also about my own time line--  referring to my theatre days as the artistic director of the 'Crankee Consort'.

Mark: There is a wonderful quality to the manipulation of materials in the scrolls that does not 'gel' with the objects on the the shelves. I doubt if there is any specific inference you wish to make but there is clearly a reason for the juxtaposition. Would you care to comment?

Jane: A couple of people observed  that when turning the drawings it felt like  looking at music. Maybe the objects are riffing on a theme. It was a challenge to have the objects interact with the drawing at all moments. 

 Mark: There is a difference between narrative and poetry. The scrolls seem to be entirely poetic. No story specifically, just the skilled notation of things experienced.

Jane: I do agree these are visual poems more than stories .The person turning the crankee can stop the at any moment  creating their own composition

This conversation will be continued  on Sunday, December 4 at 1 pm. Join Mark Adair and Jane Lowbeer on December 4th at Loop Gallery to hear more.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Loopers in the News

Persons of Interest by Gary Clement
Gary Clement has new works on display at Parts Gallery 1150 Queen Street East.

Sandra Gregson is one of the featured artists on World of Threads Festival website as the 40th "Weekly Fibre Artist Interview."

At loop gallery this weekend are Mark Adair and Jane Lowbeer. On the last day of their exhibitions, Sunday, December 4th, there will be a Q&A session. Instead of a moderator,  Mark and Jane will ask each other questions.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mark Adair and Jane LowBeer at Loop Gallery

loop Gallery is pleased to announce exhibitions by loop members Mark Adair entitled The Honourable Blood of Mr. E. Pussy, and Jane LowBeer entitled Shelf Life.
Mark Adair, The Honourable Blood of Mr. E. Pussy, charcoal on paper, 4” x 4”, 2011
 The Honourable Blood of Mr. E. Pussy is the latest installment in Mark Adair's ongoing series of over seventy tiny charcoal drawings entitled Death Drinks. In these new drawings we see a marriage fall apart and our hero Death fails as a family man. Nonetheless, there is a happy ending of sorts in this near-to-last chapter of the saga about which Peter Goddard of The Star writes 'Adair's genius is to frame Death's progress as if it were a TV sitcom...".

Mark Adair is a Toronto artist who does both charcoal works on paper and makes sculpture. His work was recently featured in the Spring 2010 Vie des Arts (English) and was the subject of Patrick Jenkins' 2007 documentary Death is in Trouble Now. Adair is a graduate of York University, Toronto (BFA 1979) and the University of Victoria (MFA 1982). He is a founding member of The Torontoniensis Collective with whom he exhibited for over a decade.

Jane LowBeer Untitled, detail of crankee, medium, 15” x 15”, 2011.
 In Shelf Life, Jane LowBeer's creative work continues to be inspired by the household objects that surround her every day. LowBeer uses handmade boxes that are also shelves, with cranks and painted paper scrolls; a kind of medieval TV. As the viewer turns the crank (hence the name ”crankees”), hand-printed images of jars, tubes and tape, string and thing a-ma-jigs roll.

Jane LowBeer started her artistic career as a printmaker studying at Atelier 17 in Paris. As artistic director of the multi-media theatre company, The Crankee Consort, she designed and constructed puppets and sets for almost twenty years. During her career she has exhibited in New York, Montreal and in Europe. Her works have granted her prizes, are included in private and public collections, and can be viewed at Loop Gallery, Open Studio and the Nikola Rukai Gallery.

Please join the artists in celebrating the opening reception on Saturday, November 12th from 2-5 pm. Learn more about Mark Adair and Jane LowBeer’s work during a Question & Answer Session at loop on Sunday December 4th, 1PM.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanks, Ma - A new installation by Barbara Rehus

Mon Ton Window Gallery

402 College Street, Toronto, ON

November 2 – 30, 2011

My thought behind Thanks, Ma was to take a sort of journey to revisit an old line of artistic expression. In past works, my explorations of the theme of motherhood have centred around knitted garments that were made of unwearable materials – sweaters made of cement, glass, wax, matted dog hair. There is a harshness to these materials; a harshness that carries over to the type of mother who would wear such items. Would she be cold, detached? She wouldn’t be huggable. You wouldn’t be able to bury your face in the coziness of her. This time around, I wanted to take a lighter look at motherhood and create a more benign and much softer representation of that most basic and universal of all human relationships. This is my first representation of knitting that most closely resembles something that can be worn, although it still can not be worn.

Thanks, Ma is a kinetic work. Ma is knitting a long scarf that winds around her mobile-like children who are jiggling and dancing about her, hanging off her arms, as she works. The scarf Ma is knitting is made from scraps of yarn of varying texture, colour, type, and purpose. The different scraps of yarn are important because they are representative of all the things mothers have knitted over time as both expressions of love and of the expectations and responsibilities inherent in motherhood. These expectations and responsibilities are held, I believe, by both mothers and their children. I collected the yarn for this piece from all kinds of people – not just mothers – and all kinds of projects; some of which were finished and some of which were never completed. This is important because although we all complete our childhoods, our relationships with our mothers are never finished. And, if we have children ourselves, our relationships with them are, inevitably, never completed. Those relationships are, however, forever interwoven.

I can be reached at rehus@sympatico.ca


Last Chance to see David Holt and Suzanne Nacha at Loop

This is the last weekend to see the exhibitions by David Holt and Suzanne Nacha at loop gallery. The show closes on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 4 pm.
To see Artsync interview with Suzanne Nacha,  visit the ArtSync website here. There is also coverage of the opening by Artsync in their Gallery Hop feature here.