Artists exploring the possiblities

Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver
November 21 - December 15

Haida Sisiutl Apron, ultra suede applique,
deer chamois, mother of pearl buttons

"Premonitions" compares and contrasts the work of two generations of artists who are currently influencing Northwest Coast art with their vitality. Artwork by the first generation of celebrated contemporary artists - Robert Davidson, Simon Dick, Susan Point, Joe David, Glenn Tallio, Art Thompson and Norman Tait, many of whom have created powerful and recognizable styles - can be seen side-by-side with a second generation of people who recently have come into their own. Having been trained and encouraged by the first, artists like Bill Kuhnley, Preston Singletary and Don Svanvik introduce personal variations which bridge older artistic conventions and newer contemporary approaches inspired by the advent of the milenium.

This exhibit seeks to explore current issues of innovation, new materials, and the growing influence of those women artists who are directing new forms. Innovations in traditional approaches to art-making can be seen to incorporate both individualistic rather than cultural presentation styles and the use of such new and non-traditional materials as glass and bronze.

Female artists have traditionally worked in mediums that are both labour-intensive and technically challenging. New work is showcased in some contemporary applications that have added important new dimensions to each genre. Among the latter, for example, artists Cheryl Samuel and Isabel Rorick have moved from a revival of traditional weaving techniques to the generation of highly-innovative techinques and designs.

© Mia Johnson