Dougal Graham and Drew Shaffer
Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery
Vancouver BC Sep 9-Oct 5, 2004
Drew Shaffer, Your Head My Furniture (2004), mixed media, [Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery, Vancouver BC, Sept 9-Oct 5]
A lively two-artist show of drawings and sculpture at the Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery focuses on concepts of consumerism and commodification. Since their graduation from Emily Carr College of Art and Design in the early 1990s, Dougal Graham and Drew Shaffer have pursued conceptual art with a strong sense of individuality and produced work that explores manifestations of contemporary culture in designed objects.
Both artists have exhibited widely in Canada, the United States and Europe. For this exhibition, Graham has produced a series of small-scale sculpture infused with themes of mortality. His references are taken from memento mori (images of death that remind people to treasure life), miniatures carved from Byzantine ivory, Persian floral patterns, modern graffiti, art deco and nouveau motifs, contemporary fashion, and bijou or other small worked pieces of jewellery.
Shaffers imagery is simpler and more representational, with narrative themes. Among other unique materials, he uses fabrics such as satin and felt, brocaded upholstery, papier mch and artificial turf. He is interested in the effects of consumer culture on our emotional and psychological needs and desires, and how they in turn alter the way we perceive our environment and ourselves. For example, Your Head My Furniture mocks attempts to emulate European taste through faux antiques and décor.