Thursday, July 14, 2016

vive le romantisme...




even in the wealthiest enclave, there can still be found undisturbed riffs of a more romantic era, when secret lovenotes were passed through ornate iron gates, and devotion scratches on mossy walls hid behind a curtain of ivy... then the long quiet walks through lush overgrown gardens...


well before over-indulged children roar their maseratis through the wide leafy boulevards and wander lonely through their immaculate mansions in a loveless virtual ennui...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

WilMar:: what will not remain...



From the days when demanding calls were made from inside the house, when there were others at one's beck and call, when every command was heeded with haste...




+++++



As one ages, the bathtub is no longer a negotiable option and one must install a contraption of sorts, a contrivance crossed between a laundry machine and an amusement park ride to facilitate bathtime...


+++++


And of course, the fireplaces will no longer burn brightly on cold rainy nights - no more gathering around the hearth to read or tell secrets or feel grateful for the privileged life in a large roomy mansion that now sits empty, waiting patiently for a resurrection, but most likely a complete overhaul...


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

WilMar:: letting the light in again



The WilMar House on Southwest Marine Drive is one lucky oldie to have escaped the demolition crunch. It had been occupied by three successive generations of the same family since it was built in 1925 by Willard and Mary Kitchen, and the last one and only granddaughter died here alone in 2006. She had bequeathed her whole estate to the Vancouver Foundation which has since sold the property to someone who is willing to save the mansion by modifying it into two separate units and adding a few more houses on the two acre site.


Having the opportunity to visit it on a recent Vancouver Heritage Foundation House Tour, it was an unexpected surprise to find this large Tudor Revival style house left mostly intact in its original state. It has been unoccupied for almost 10 years now but maintained in good condition. Windows were uncovered of their plywood boarding, the rooms aired out and light flooded in once again to welcome strangers into the reclusive spaces on this sunny spring morning...














The separate coach house with its unfinished interior and barn-like atmosphere... James would not have been happy living here, even if he could drive some fancy cars!





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

emily carr grad show:: ring arOund



Another year has come around and another troop of artists in the making has consolidated all its creative strength and energy to manifest THE SHOW AT ECU with hits, near-misses and whaa-at??
Of all the art exhibitions, commercial, institutional and otherwise, that this city has to offer year in and year out, this is one that I make an absolute effort not to miss! There is just something so endearing and compelling and hopeful to the earnestness of the final works from students who have been immersed in the murky pool of art theories for a few years and now must be baptized in public conveyance before being set free to disseminate their sweat and tears ideation of the utmost artfulness to the great big world...



The Golden Ring of utter purity and universality of "Spiritus" by Alexandra BIDDELL is a welcomed cleansing of my visual palate before commencing onwards to many more varietals and cultivars...




Well, three more over on another wall then... Jay RUDOLPH's "Rust Exploration Two (rings horizontal)" contrast by execution, media and intent, and yet the Eternal Ring, be it gilded or rusted, cannot be denied its ultimate symbolic power...





Circling forth with the theme that I am now being intuitively drawn to at this show, Nathaniel FERGUSON's installation of straight and looping metal rods punctuated by crab shells above, banana peel, chocolate bar and half a pear below can only provoke with their DaDaDali-esque conundrum...

"Looping Crab (Hershey's bar, Mr. Crab)"



"Silver Crab (Pear, Red)"

"Gold Crab (Banana, Purple)"




Elevated on spindly metal frames, stretched latex altars nestle solid bronze mamaries with gold-tipped nipples - modelled anatomy of desire perhaps as offerings of the divine nurture, so sparsely conspired and formulated by Kaitlyn SULLIVAN...

"Untitled:2016 it hurt"






Whereas Marissa DIAMOND construed exuberances of wildly coloured and haphazardly patterned clay globules piled on top of large misshapened vessels like so much cornucopian spewing of deranged fruits and bloodied organs all gathered into a wondrously grotesque foraged bounty...



"Bound"; "Floral"; "Lace"


From such hardcore pieces of sculptural objectification to the floating ethereal discs of lit kinetic images in a darkened room, "The Ashes" by Jing (Nico) JING mesmerizes in its under water quality and disorientating positioning and projection of blue-green brilliance with its organic swirls and splotches...




Even as the gold squiggles seem to squirm across a tarry black expanse, Marig ARGUETA's "Golden roots" unravels the pictorial surface by producing a shimmering dynamic randomness while in perfect stasis...





Three finely detailed portraits of heads wearing/supporting trees by Rachel DAHLE are beautifully rendered in chalk pastel on panels of glass - the overall delicateness sublimely jarred by the hyper-naturalism of the bark and branches, and yet the quaint absurdity of tree trunk "crowns" can only elicit wonderment...

"(Untitled)" 






These other three panels by Joseph O'BRIEN are as ethereal and illusional as it gets in the depiction of what are presumed to be shadowed wall corners - and then hung vertically on a white wall with the play of light, both lit and natural, on them and on the space around them creating a whole new interpretation of wall art...

"appendix"




As almost identical squares of vellum float up the wall in their grid pattern, the ones stacked in the transparent box wait patiently for their turn. Polly GIBBONS' installation of "Blackbox theatre of the mind (flow series)" reveals the power of repetitive production to stretch the limits of creative presentation...




The art of stacking is also precariously displayed in "Countless men on horseback" installed in groupings by Meichen WAXER, be they round plaster shields carefully stacked into a column or the two separate piles of broken fragments/rubble lying nearby like so much evidence of defeat...





Coming upon a ring of shoes all strung together with their colourful laces, one must ponder if this soleful circle is as intransigent as walking barefoot along a pilgrim's path to some destination beyond the comprehension of earthly beings, delivery to that other almighty world looming above with indeterminately higher manifestations...

"basta solo volerlo. (And Beyond) Part 11/11" by Patrick James BRAVO




The journey continues "Along The Same Path" as Steven SCHMID's life-size piece occupies a whole wall of the Concourse Gallery, animating it with a benign warthog ridden by splendidly swathed creatures and pulling a rickety wagon of saints and sinners, saviours and murderers on a never-ending road to salvation, but more likely, to hell-bent damnation...






And so "I Learned in Passing" of "The time I wanted to buy watermelon" was really all a ruse to entice one to venture further along the imaginary trail that can be so circuitous until a flight pattern is established - and then all bets are off...! Watermelons, wagon wheels, trampolines, warrior shields, fruits of Eden, bronze boobs, rings of fire will all roll and bounce and defend and be consumed in the final round of an eternal kick towards the Great Beyond...

Thank you, Gio SWABY, for reminding us of things we ought to know for a long time now...


The Show at ECU
2016 Graduation Show
Emily Carr University of Art and Design

May 8-22, 2016