September 21, 2013
Panel Conversation: Inside Story / 11 – 12:30 p.m.
The Underground | Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West
With a spirit of enthusiasm the first program of the 2013 Gallery hop began. Excitement filled the voices of Christine Shaw, program and outreach manager of Canadian Art Magazine, and Richard Rhodes, editor of Canadian Art magazine, as they presented the theme of last Saturday’s Gallery Hop 2013 Panel Discussion: “Inside Story”.
As he introduced the Canadian Art Foundation’s 17th annual event, Rhodes explained that this year’s theme is meant to have a tabloid spirit with a narrative capacity. By making reference to the media and tabloids and the initial (and succinct) headline, the theme suggests that these artist’s work, in simple terms, explore an event/occurrence/moment, in history or the present, and locate it within a cultural, political, and/or personal context. On the panel, artists Yam Lau, Dana Claxton, and Sky Glabush spoke to the diversity of ways in which the “inside story” informs their work.
Moderator Richard Rhodes first introduced Sky Glabush who, with charm and vulnerability, explained that his inside story centers on his youth in Moose Jaw, SK and his father’s involvement in the Bahaii community. He expresses the latter through the “universal language of abstraction”. He suggested that he was transforming the abstract from the sublime to a personal language which would leave his audience to learn his inside story rather than meditate on symbolic theosophy.
In contrast, Dana Claxton explores the inside story behind the “erasure of liberation” through the lens of the American Indian Movement. By unearthing sanctioned oppressions, she aims to use art not only to further the discourse and inform her audience, but to also bring justice forth.
Lastly, Yam Lau spoke about his fascination with the Chinese language as a tool to access China’s inside story without having to permanently reside there.
As with previous years, the event served as a visual and intellectually stimulating experience for supporters of Canadian Art.
Text and photo: Leanne Simaan
Canadian Art Magazine Launch / 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Jessica Bradley Gallery / 74 Miller Street
The event was very well attended and was a great mix of exciting, innovative art; the opening reception of the Berlin based artists Hadley and Maxwell, the launch of the fall issue of Canadian Art magazine, and test drives of the all electric Smart Car.
The show, Hadley+Maxwell: If You Were Me, I Would Think Twice…, included sculptures mounted on the wall as well as stand alone pieces; and oil paintings on linen canvases that were incredibly three dimensional looking. You had to get right up to the paintings to see that they were actually painted and not a sculpture attached to their surface.
I spoke to Maxwell in front of the large installation “Graces and Exemplars”, which takes up an entire wall of the Jessica Bradley Gallery, and asked him what was his inspiration for the sculptural pieces in the show.
He said, that to mold their sculptures they use cinefoil which is a heavy, black aluminum foil that is often used to create lighting effects for video or photography by forming tubes or screens with holes. He said he wanted to take the cinefoil, a utilitarian object and something usually used to look at other things, and use it to create something monumental. With Hadley they take forgotten and ignored monuments from the past and bring them back into the spotlight by re-sculpting their parts such as legs, arms and heads.
Jason McLean’s painted Smart Car was also on display.
The exhibition is open till October 19, 2013.
Text and photo: Margaret Irving