By Robin Laurence
HARMONIA BY YVONNE MULLOCK
Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, Medicine Hat. To Dec 30
Glasgow-trained, Calgary-based artist Yvonne Mullock has created an installation that brings together many disciplines, including textile art, costuming, sculpture and performance. Filling the gallery’s 1,500-square-foot exhibition space, Harmonia introduces viewers to components of a performance video – two hand-dyed garments conjoined by a single long sleeve and large video stills – through a peephole in a floating wall. The work, Mullock says, speaks to “connectedness, transitory moments, and the cycle of life.”
SIMONE ELIZABETH SAUNDERS: u·n·i·t·y·
Contemporary Calgary, Calgary. Nov 4, 2021 – Jan 30, 2022
Award-winning textile and theatre artist Simone Elizabeth Saunders employs the colourful and many-stranded medium of hand-tufting in the creation of richly articulated portraits of Black women. Saunders incorporates personal and social histories into works that affirm the possibilities of embracing joy, resilience and narratives of interconnectedness. At the same time she acknowledges the Black Lives Matter movement and mourns the tragic injustices and systemic racism directed toward people of African descent.
MANDY ESPEZEL: BODY LONGING
Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge. Nov 26, 2021 – Feb 13, 2022
This site-specific painting installation seeks to both address and engage us with “bodily knowledge” and the ways in which artist and viewer perceive and experience the world through their bodies. Mandy Espezel’s work extends painting into space through the medium’s essential components of colour, line, form, scale and composition. The paintings also speak to the exhibition space in what was an old Carnegie library, essentially viewing it as the architectural “body” that houses them.
FRANCO DEFRANCESCA: RE-EVOLVER
Newzones, Calgary. Nov 27, 2021 – Jan 15, 2022
Op Art finds a new incarnation in Franco DeFrancesca’s mixed-media works. Employing digitally composed pigment prints on panel, the Toronto-based artist renegotiates the relationship between photography and painting. The result is a series of vibrant, pulsing, highly coloured abstractions, which he regards as “picture objects.” His perceptually engaging and confounding images are mounted on circular, rectangular and teardrop-shaped grounds of layered plywood, then finished with clear resin.