The Visual Music of Cynthia Minden’s “Anima-L”

Cynthia Minden’s first discipline was music, and her earlier studies in this field continue to shape the tone of her work. Lyrical movements, rhythms, harmonies, musical phrasing, and cadences resonate throughout her visual art. She describes the creation of her current show at Denman Island Summer Gallery as conceiving a lexicon or [...]

- 4 mins read
The Temporal Mysteries of Manuel Martinez Polo’s Photographic Memoirs

In her book, On Photography (1977), Susan Sontag famously stated: “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” There is an inevitable melancholy about photographs, only partly [...]

- 3 mins read
Small Works, Big Artists

The pieces in this group exhibition of small works show a definite coherence; their shared vision – though resisting a formal definition – is in the unity and flow of this diminutively epic show of small works. Common elements lie in the treatment of light and approaches to classic form [...]

- 4 mins read
Dylan Thomas
Sacred Geometry

“In a mysterious cosmic exhalation, Spirit took a three-dimensional shape and started building the Universe according to timeless laws of geometry.” - Dylan Thomas Dylan Thomas is a Contemporary Coast Salish artist from the Lyackson First Nation, originally from Valdes Island. A past protégée of the renowned Susan Point, he has recently shifted his [...]

- 4 mins read
Rebecca Jewell
Feathered Life in Beautiful, Tragic Flight

Rebecca Jewell is currently Artist in Residence in the Oceania Department of the British Museum. Like her namesake, Jewell’s art, finely rendered on actual bird feathers and other delicately modelled surfaces, has the lustre and polish of cut gems. Brilliant hues alternate with dove grey and subtle taupe, on tiny feather “canvases” and constructions. [...]

- 3 mins read
Profiling the artist as shaman
Rick Rivet's Spirit Journey

Shifting perceptions of art have determined the ways, and the degrees to which, art has been valued over the course of history. The idea that the shaman figure gave rise to the prototypical artist and that shamanism formulated the prototype of all the arts has gained traction through 21st century [...]

- 3 mins read
Alcheringa's Gathering of Spirits

In 1999, for Vie des Arts, I wrote about Alcheringa’s exhibition, “Vision Keepers — four women carvers — Dale Campbell, Valerie Morgan, Susan Point and Isabel Rorick.” The show was just one of the many groundbreaking exhibitions produced by Alcheringa’s director, Elaine Monds, during the past three decades. With that [...]

- 4 mins read
“All that I am…” The Educational Models of Three First Nations Artists: Susan A. Point, Marika Swan and Rick Rivet

First Nations artists face unique experiences with regard to arts education, professional acceptance, and credentialing — both from within their Native cultures, and from without. To illustrate my point, I offer the examples of three well-known First Nations artists, all of whom have professional representation through Alcheringa Gallery in Victoria, [...]

- 4 mins read
Heather Keenan. In Passing

Heather Keenan has, for many years, painted strongly narrative scenes, the exact meanings of which remain forever mysterious or even paradoxical. People, privately and in their numbers, intent upon the process of becoming something else, are Keenan’s subjects. Crowds of outward-yearning people, of all ages, genders and types, peer upward [...]

- 2 mins read
Kristin Sweetland. Adventures In Sweetland

Kristin Sweetland’s debuting photography exhibition focuses on a series of manipulated, digitized self-portraits. Set in various, extreme Canadian landscapes, both industrial and rural, Adventures in Sweetland features her self-portrait as a kind of interactive element, engaging and sometimes disrupting the scene. She can be witnessed venturing into sprawling wastes of un-trod rifts [...]

- 4 mins read
Ymie Kono. Affirming Life Amid the Ruins and the Rain

Genfukei: “…an occurrence when our inner landscape and [our] outer landscape are recognized as one and the same.” Yumie Kono (2014) Abstract painter, Yumie Kono, was born in Hiroshima in 1944, and lived through the atomic destruction of the city. This has colored her reception of the world, inevitably influencing the art [...]

- 4 mins read
Brad Pasutti. A Piquant, Unfolding Dream of Reason

In 1994, Brad Pasutti wrote of one of his pastel paintings depicting a labyrinthine Mexican street, and the many, painted windows into other dimensions and planes of meaning he’d interpolated in the image: “’Callejon’ means ‘narrow street of alleyway.’ The piece is derived from Guanajuarto, one of the colonial silver [...]

- 3 mins read
Tradition and Innovation in Contemporary Native Art: Vancouver Island’s Fine Art Tricksters

There is an animus infusing contemporary Native art. It is ancient and new, fierce and comical. It is Trickster, a timeless archetype with a global diffusion, though its forms vary from culture to culture. Primarily, across borders of culture and ethnicity, it acts as a gentle goad to social evolution [...]

- 4 mins read
The Two-Souled World of Dale Roberts and The Gallery of All Sorts

Born in Newfoundland in 1962, Dale Roberts is an artist in sculpture, fabrics and textiles, installation, conceptual media, and performance. His new show, scheduled to open January 9th 2014 at the Memorial Gallery on the Grenfell Campus of the University of Newfoundland, comprises an installation of his classical, fabric and textiles sculptures in one [...]

- 4 mins read
The Equine Society of Sable of Sable Island: Photographs of Wild Horses by Debra Garside

Horses are social animals, like us. This is so apparent in the photographs by Debra Garside, portraying the only completely unmanaged herd of wild horses in Canada (and, actually, the Americas). Residing for the past hundred years on Sable Island—a very long (42 kilometers) and slender (1.5 kilometers wide), crescent shaped [...]

- 6 mins read
Joe Coffey. “Artist Guy”

Joe Coffey’s Facebook page touts his craft in self-effacing terms. This ‘artist guy’ works in oils, acrylics, graphite, and mixed media, so comes by his self-appointed, somewhat generalized page heading honestly. Widely acclaimed for his graphic skills, he has won awards for his art, and has been featured in multiple [...]

- 5 mins read
Lusa’nala. The Way We Came into this World

The questions posed by this show queried the very existence of erotica in Northwest Coast art, first asking, “Is there such a thing? And, if so, what does it look like?” In answer to this seldom asked question “Lusa’nala (the way we came into this world)” presents sculpture and paintings by seven prominent and [...]

- 3 mins read