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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | September–October 2011

By Robin Laurence

REBECCA CHAPERON: LIKE A GREAT BLACK FIRE grunt gallery, Vancouver, Sep 8-Oct 15 Typically, Rebecca Chaperon’s paintings combine narrative and landscape impulses with an air somewhere between sinister surrealism and fairy tale enchantment. In these works, stories are told through a recurring female character who appears to be autobiographical. Chaperon’s new suite of imagistically and thematically linked paintings interrupt pastoral and romantic landscape imagery and figuration with geometric elements and urban grids. It’s intentionally unclear whether her narrative plays out over time across all the paintings, or each painting is a simultaneous part of a mysterious whole.

CHANGE: WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU? Touchstones Nelson, Nelson, Sep 3-Nov 30 Designed to stimulate community involvement and creative thinking about countering climate change, this is a “think globally, act locally” kind of exhibition. Touching on everything from bike sharing to composting, Change encourages individual and community action, and also sets up a competition that allows visitors to vote for climate change initiatives they would like to see realized.

MARY FOX: CLASSIC FORMS REVISITED Gallery of B.C. Ceramics, Vancouver, Sep 3-29 In a series of beautiful and elegant vessels, ceramic artist Mary Fox brings together her enduring love of the vase form with her interest in developing unique glazes. The long, slender necks and sensuously curving bodies of her clay vessels are complemented by her unique and painterly surface treatment, often built up of layers of different glazes in successive firings. The result is revelatory.

TOM FORRESTALL: MASTER WORKS Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 13-Oct 1 Renowned East Coast painter Tom Forrestall has long been associated with the magic realism of Alex Colville and Christopher Pratt. On close examination, however, his representational style, especially as seen in his watercolours, more closely resembles Pointillism, with its many small dots and flecks of colour and its exploration of light. On view in this survey exhibition are misty landscapes, snowy shorelines, sunny interiors, still life studies and figures.

BRENDAN FERNANDES: DISSCONTINENT Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, Sep 17-Dec 11 One of a trio of thematically linked exhibitions, Disscontinent explores the relationship between language, culture and identity. Kenyan-born Canadian artist Brendan Fernandes is interested in the ways language may be altered through the process of migration, and in the accompanying experiences of “loss and gain, forgetfulness and remembrance”. The exhibition is anchored by two large-scale media installations, which together combine animated totem heads, video-mask sculptures, Dadaist poetry, and audio recordings of culturally inflected literary readings.

ANDREA TAYLOR Grey Door Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 22-Oct 14 These works in oil and graphite on drafting vellum take their inspiration from the pioneering stop-motion photography of Eadweard Muybridge. Andrea Taylor, a painter, printmaker, and publisher of letterpress books, reinterprets Muybridge’s photos in a ghostly way that reflects on the ephemerality of existence. Also on view is a film which animates Taylor’s drawings, returning the still images to the realm of movement.

STEPHEN HUTCHINGS: SONGS OF SHADOW & LIGHT Jennifer Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 22-Oct 24 Stephen Hutchings’s new mixed-media paintings are based on sketches made during a recent trip to Europe. With landscape images that seem to melt into luminescence or disappear into shadow, he explores the nature of perception and its play with memory and emotion. Hutchings's work combines charcoal drawing, digital photography and painting in a way that references both the historic and the contemporary.

NEON VANCOUVER/UGLY VANCOUVER Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver, Oct 13-Aug 12, 2011 Don’t be deceived by the title of this exhibition: the “ugly” refers to the now-questionable criticism of Vancouver’s neon signs in the 1960s and 70s, and the subsequent move by city officials to banish them from our streets in a “visual purity crusade”. Far from being ugly, this show will dazzle viewers with its display of lively and inventive neon signs from Vancouver’s postwar years, and will also provoke discussion about how we imagine our urban environment should look. Also on view are street photographs by Walter Griba.

Ç–ÇÎǵÇ&Mac220; HIROSHIMA: PHOTOGRAPHS BY MIYAKO ISHIUCHI Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Oct 14-Feb 12 This exhibition of 52 photographs focuses on the clothing and personal effects, such as a pair of dusty work boots, of victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945. Internationally acclaimed for a career spanning three decades, Miyako Ishiuchi chose the objects she photographed from more than 19,000 such personal effects housed in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, all of them left behind by those who perished in the bombing. Viewers may muse on war, trauma, and remembrance, and the human capacity for vast destruction.

IRA HOFFECKER Dales Gallery, Victoria, Oct 7-Nov 8 After 15 years of working in the marketing end of the film industry, Hoffecker began to focus on her “lifetime interest” – painting. With their richly hued organic and partitioned forms, sometimes interspersed with text, her works reveal her love of Abstract Expressionism. “I want to…create something that has not existed before and that comes from myself,” she says.

Rebecca Chaperon
Rebecca Chaperon

Change
Change

Mary Fox
Mary Fox

Tom Forrestal
Tom Forrestal

Brendan Fernandes
Brendan Fernandes

Andrea Taylor
Andrea Taylor

Neon Vancouver
Neon Vancouver

Miyako Ishiuchi
Miyako Ishiuchi

Ira Hoffecker
Ira Hoffecker

 Mon, Sep 5, 2011