Video and photos by Patricia Njovu
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Charles Hackbarth’s Everything AND Nothing and Barbara Rehus’s Can’t. Breathe. opened to a lovely crowd composed of friends and family last Saturday. Please enjoy the short video and photos taken at the reception.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Everything AND Nothing is finally installed at loop Gallery! For me, drawing is direct, spontaneous, immediate and visceral. The act of drawing creates a direct channel to the imagination, to the unconscious. This stream-of-consiousness approach leaves little time for second guessing. One has to trust that each twitch of muscle and each nuance of chalk will lead eventually to some form of congruent narrative.
Faces and figures emerge seemingly on their own accord. Shapes draw themselves. My job is to implement some semblance of order, but really, each drawing seems to have its inner logic. Not that I don't try to force my intention on a drawing. For example, up above, what started out as a coyote ended up looking like a genteel family dog. The drawing immediately above started out as a large drawing with a background and landscape but ... well, the process dictated otherwise. Out came the X-acto and "goodbye" went the landscape.
My work is influenced by my interest is psycho-spiritual matters. Over the years I have studied Buddhism, Shamanism, Transformational Psychotherapy along with various forms of energy healing, meditation and expressive arts. There are some obvious art history influences such as Bosch and Breughal, alchemistical illustrations, surrealism, magic realism and contemporary figurative work. I like the fact that the work feels old and new at the same time. If you're interested in learning more about these works, Barbara Rehus, who is showing Can't.Breath, and I will be doing an artist's ramble on Sunday, December 9th at 2pm. Eschewing the traditional artist's talk or Q&A, we ask you to join us as we ramble around the gallery and address our work in a casual, rambling manner.
As well, on Sunday, December 2nd, my band The Body In Question and I will be playing a concert of quiet, ambient electronic music.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Can’t. Breathe., the new work by Toronto-based artist Barbara Rehus, is at times deep, at times dark, at times funny. It takes us back to the question of the ages: How much of what we do is up to us? How much is preordained? What are we all but the puppets or marionettes of some master puppeteer who is perhaps sinister, perhaps sadistic, perhaps benevolent, perhaps all of these things and more? This body of work explores life/existence as if it were an enormous puppet show. It examines the absurdity, the powerlessness we all can sometimes feel as our strings are pulled, our buttons pushed.
|Barbara Rehus 'Can't. Breath'|
The title piece of this work, Can’t. Breathe. is particularly powerful in its creepy one-ness. How do we break out of a crushing conformity that is very physical as evidenced by the puppet heads squashed together and smashed into a box but that is also very spiritual and emotional as it evokes thoughts of cultural/societal coercion and conformity. The question asked over and over in this work centers around the notion of how do we get out? How can we break free?
White Men Talking is reminiscent of a recurring theme in much of Rehus’s work – the dismissal of people, particularly the dismissal of women, by those in power or those perceived to have power, the superiority and self-involvement of a closed circle of Euro-centric homogenous men who have no room in their heads for other ideas, other ways of doing things, other ways of being. In this distorted world, one voice is presumed to speak for all and the smug superiority that emanates from that voice is smothering to all who hear it.
|Rehus 'White Man Talking'|
The piece entitled Is This an Island? is a powerful statement of loss or the fear or anticipation of loss, whether actual or perceived. Who will care about me? What will I have, having been left/bereft? All of us, in our shared humanness, have a fear of isolation, a sense of mourning for what or who has left us, has changed for us. We sometimes find ourselves clasping and holding dear what remains, whether real or imagined. We may actually have much more than what is in our grasp but that is not our perception and so that is not our truth.
|Rehus 'Is this and Island?'|
Rehus’s work, in this current installation as well as in earlier exhibitions, compels us to look at the power of the relationships we form and have with the people, cultures, and societies that make up our personal world. We are made from those we come from, from our understanding of where we begin and where those we came from end, from what we choose to move toward and what we choose to move away from. What buffets us along the way may or may not be within our control.
Writer and Poet
Monday, November 19, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
|Hague 'Being Natural', woodcut|
on Okawara paper, wire,
detail, Durham, Art Gallery, 2010
Libby Hague is immersed in animation right now. Immersed is the right word because it is a diving and swimming scene. It's all good but busy but when isn't it.
Hague is exhibiting at the Joshua Creek Heritge Art Centre in Oakville from Nov. 2-18
Follow this link to see more of libby's work:
Thursday, November 15, 2012
|Rubinstein 'House of Learning'|
|Rochelle Rubinstein 'Tweed'|
Rubinstein's 'Tweed' And 'House of Learning' were works that were exhibited in Momento Mori, at the Sheridan Institute in Oakville, which was curated by Gareth Bate. To view more from both series and other works follow the following links:
Rochelle Rubinstein also is exhibiting at the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre and the Gallery at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cutural Centre in Oakville from Nov. 2 - 18th.
Rochelle is also curating Common Tread international Exhibition at Mon Ton Window Gallery Nov. 9 - Dec. 1, 2012., see link: www.rochellerubinstein.com