Saturday, December 26, 2015

the end of a house

within three violent days of desecration,
the house next door was completely gone
- now a non-narrative of airy dampness,
loose earth, rocks, and broken bricks...

 christmas colours before the denudation -
 and 60 years of a family's history reduced to
tossed out rags and shattered glass,
twisted metal and crushed plants...

a house so cherished with handbuilt attainment, 
faithfully maintained through the seasons -
the love red paint on cupboard doors and trims,
worn adirondack chairs and aging hearts...

the rolled up vinyl mat that covered the back perch,
tossed down to question the endless null and void
- the lives forever lived, the memories neutralized,
the dreams evaporated, the voices silenced...

like a screaming pot, the chimney flue lies in vain,
no more secret papers smoking through its hollow
- it will soon be buried with the porcelain bowls, 
the faceless mirrors and the most inconsolables... 

a small house of feasts and fissures, 
a quiet house of desert photos and soft cacti,
of silver souvenir spoons and old board games,
played out on the lifespan of a round table top...

 so many hours and days and years assigned
to the timely tending and the feckless defending -
and then it is all over, move over and out,
out of near sight, not even the hatchet remains...

the 100 year old cherry tree in the backyard
reduced years ago to double doubtful trunks -
still reached for the wintry skies, yet knowing
it will never see the spring again...

a christmas epilogue to 1645 east 14th avenue, home to the mcmurray family for sixty years

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

emily carr grad show:: counting on

Every May my ritualistic tour of the studios and galleries of Emily Carr University to survey the culmination of artful efforts shaped and shifted by educated guesses never fails to yield curious manifestations of the most inventive and stretched out minds and limbs...

I spy a single thumb poking out of a concrete block as part of an installation by Kai Arne Choufour, "staring at the snow again melting in my bed my only friend has left again as seasons end and girls undress the sun's impressed it blushes red" - the poetic rationale for so many things that are too hard-edged in this world

and later find a population of more sluggish digits clustered on the furniture, floor and walls of another installation by Shawn Ederis, "A Touch of Infestation" - with no poetic raison d'être at all!

As I wander on, a purview of multiplicity continues - and none as obvious as the breeding habits of little bunnies by Haide Anne James  [winner of the Circle Craft Graduation Award for Ceramics]

"Untitled (One Brown Bunny)"

The count is on as I encounter a corner with 30 cotton rags dipped in porcelain hanging to dry on random lines by Gabrielle Strong, "Lost in the Process"

and further on, a precise arrangement of hexagonal porcelain tiles of varying thickness protruding from the wall by Carly Mucha, "Causeway (A Series of Expansions and Contractions)"

On another wall, thin bands of ceramic ribbons loop and curl into a textual script of unconventional means by Deborah Kisiel, "Addictus"

while Kristen Heyland scrawled a single barely legible word in black liquid acrylic as part of her presentation "Human" and "Human?"

 A large striking black and white painting of multiple geometrical shapes looms out and pulsates with an abstract monochromatic rhythm by Emma Metcalfe Hurst, "Moving Backwards While Going Forward (assembly through simultaneity)"

and in contrast, a long screen printed panel of such intricate characters and activities and scenery play out the fantasy world of an exquisite imagination by Jacquie Duruisseau, "Untitled (Map. 1)"

The multiple theme continues with this series of silkscreens of washy colours and circular loveliness simply laid out in a grid pattern by Koeun Lee, "untitled"

and within a translucent chamber, an installation by Matias Armendaris Avila, "Amber Archive", featured these minutely engraved amber pieces to illustrate the "Typology of the Cultural Artifacts of the Other"

Rows of similar artifacts or representation of objects persist in these two rows of trees lining a road going nowhere painted on a rough hewn tree stump that is part of an installation by Ben Hawkins, "Pathways"

and then looking down on another podium, a clump of nondescript form in all its oily blackness approaches sculptural transcendence of symbolic acumenistic glory by Chloe Godman, [best name ever for an artiste!] "Explorations of the Informe (Formless)"

And still downspotting into the bucket of dried porcelain of Gabrielle Strong's installation with the hanging porcelain-soaked cotton rags above, I surmise an artfulness in the crack pattern of the porcelain cake and the splattering of drips to warrant as a stand alone piece...

Emma Beattie's "Fertility Fest" echoes cracks in the china, as delicate and twisted as the chances at procreation and developing a fully-formed one-of human being

while Kassandra Klassen swirls her paints into a multi-hued "Field of Vision" around a pristine void - the nullification of life itself!

In a darkened room, I trip on shards of golden light emanating a fantastical landscape above which rises a planetary vision more divine than Earth itself and created by presumably still an earthling Jessica Jackson, "Wonderment: Second Iteration"

while across the room, a reminder of "Home Sweet Home" by Megan Broadfoot brings me back down to our humble planet with its artful creations and skillful crafts to pass the time and to pass on as tangible mementos of our little lives lived...

And so it begins with these little lives to be lived - the outlines of baby creatures gently stitched onto ethereal gauze floating in another void - to be lost, to be found... in "Searching for Loss" by Niki Mahon

And then there are only "YOU & ME" in the end - ME in my full-on consciousness writing these words on a blog only YOU may or may not read; ME sitting here looking out my window at the fig tree waving its fat leaves in the wind and YOU may or may not give a fig about what I can see; ME filled with so much LOVE that my head has turned heart-shaped and glowing a bright shade of red and YOU may or may not turn up to show your LOVE to ME...
But thank YOU, Jacquie Duruisseau, for bringing US together and giving US a splendiferous home in your visionary quasi-world - WE are all here!

The Show at Emily Carr University of Art + Design
2015 Graduation Show 
ended May 17th

Saturday, February 28, 2015

in the beat of a heart...

in the beat of a heart...
we concede to the compromised evaluation of the other...
nailed to a tree

in the beat of a heart...
we lose the generalized compression of a charred life...

sprayed on a wall

in the beat of a heart...
we drop the controlled savagery of a fading smile...

staining the sidewalk

in the beat of a heart...
we evade a concentric descend into unrelenting love...

mere words on the page*

*the hand-scripted heart (text from "The Book of Knowledge, Little Reference Series Part I") is by Kim Kennedy Austin, exhibited in "Industry Charity Faith Hope", her solo show at the West Vancouver Museum, January 14 - March 7, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

beckwoman signs out...

in commemoration of a commercial drive original that blazed out recently...a store so claustrophobic with stuff that going in once in 30 years was more than enough...the legend of a beckman reclaimed as a beckwoman in full-on defiance of dated conventions...and in the end the text blisters remain on the smoked out windows to remind us that we will never see the likes of bespoke alibaba pants and customized black-out curtains from this mumble jumble cave ever again...
... or will we?