2008 Exhibits

Breaking New Ground
Juried Exhibition
November 1 — January 4, 2009

The 2008 Juried exhibition promotes both emerging and seasoned Ontario artists. Forty-five works from two hundred fifty entries were selected from a variety of genres and technical manifestations with a strong showing in digital media and painting. This exhibition explores new paths artists are taking within their own work as well as the theoretical ground breaking movement within global styles that are of interest to contemporary artists.

Jurors, Carol Podedworny, Curator, McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, and Ryszard Sliwka, Artist, Professor of design and architectural theory at University of Waterloo also selected the Award winners.
JURORS’ CHOICE AWARD: Fausta Facciponte, Emma for $1.15, photograph
AWARD OF MERIT: Adam Lodzinski, for the series of three giclee prints
AWARD OF MERIT: Peter Schacht, Reservoir in Hand, oil on wood
HONOURABLE MENTION: Vlodek Tydor, Solaris, porcelain

The Artists:
Shannon Baker, Brian Barrer, Aleks Bartosik, Karen Cantello, Sean Chappell, Robert Crosby, Bruce Cull, David Cumming, Sally Cumming, Kim DiFrancesco, Fausta Facciponte, Adele Figliomeni, David French, Cathy Groulx, Warren Hoyano, Steve Jacobs, Fleur-Ange Lamothe, Arlene Laskey, Adam Lodzinski, Claudette Losier, Daniel Parada Palafox, James Parkhill, Margo Pienkowski, Kari Reynolds, Michelle Salter, David Samila, Peter Schacht, Susan Tanton, Caroline Telfer, Linda Trowell, Vlodek Tydor, Grazyna Ziolkowski

Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant is supported by the City of Brantford and Gallery Members. We Gratefully acknowledge the support of exhibition sponsor, Brian Stephen of RBC Dominion Securities.

Environmental Texture
August 16 — October 26, 2008
Artist Reception: September 14, 2008 1:00 — 4:00 p.m.
Artist Talk by Grace Loney at 1:00 p.m. followed by Modern Dance Performance by Victoria Slager and Ruth Sutherland on harp.
Three artists respond to the environment with texture to explain their forms. 

Robert Cadotte creates acrylic paintings based on landscape. In his series, ‘Pairings’, the first image is a linear, monochromatic impression or glimpse of a faded memory, perhaps a response to a brief encounter. The second painting responds to the first image but this time with a vibrantly coloured palette. His paintings are not unlike the building of character or a reflection of the opposites in human nature through a response to abstract art.

Susan Norman is concerned with the market driven nature of our culture and it’s bent towards self-destruction. Her form is derived from a combination of textile, dye, wax, photo transfer and paint to present layers representing past and predicted results from corporate takeovers.

Grace Loney’s Symphony No. 1. in Colour is a “painting sculpture”, a maze designed in a Celtic cross pattern. She has built an outdoor experience for viewers to become physically immersed in a maze of abstraction.

Local Landscapes / Points of View
Gary Blundell, Melissa Doherty, Sylvia Simpson, Oliver WattsMay 31 — August 10, 2008 One could say that the landscape is an extension of ourselves. We view it according to the space we see around us that pulls us in, sets us free or leaves us lingering somewhere in between. In Ontario, without traveling too far, we have the luxury of exploring both urban and rural landscapes that are reflected in the work of four artists. Gary Blundell looks at the land, up close from a geological viewpoint, Melissa Doherty looks from above inspired by her first hot air balloon experience, Oliver Watts photographs the beauty of rural simplicity and Sylvia Simpson is witness to our own backyards. They have all gravitated to the landscape as a subject that inspires their handling of their medium as expression, emotion and for personal truths.

Gary Blundell is interested in the similarities of natural, geological phenomenon and man’s intervention in the land. Trained as a geologist, he has observed the effects of mines in Cobalt, uranium mines in Elliott Lake, and nickel mines in Sudbury. It is the exposed rock surfaces that have oxidized over time, tailings from the mining process and slag piles that inspire his colours and shapes. Blundell uses a router, gouging plywood surfaces to create a grid-like surface pattern. Other areas are built up with a smoother polyfil spackling to vary the effects when the paint is absorbed into the surface. There is a push and pull action in his line, composition and colour. This adding and removing has an undercurrent that responds to Blundell’s interest in the positive and negative results that arise from the natural process of patterns on the land and those created by people.

Most of us become enamored with the view from an airplane and are fascinated by the grid patterns that mankind has created to chart out our civilized living spaces. Melissa Doherty ‘s variety of geometric shaped, white blocks nestled between cool green treetops is inspired by aerial views. Her work is a metaphor for humanity in miniature with shelters, sidled up against pockets of woodlots, representing security, isolation, and alienation. Doherty gives a nod to the spiritual, simplified grid work of Mondrian in Viewfinder (woodlot), 2008. A miniature vehicle seen from above enters from a vast open space into the woods making us wonder what’s in there. Doherty’s sense of scale and the facilitation of her brushwork bring a fascination and delight to the viewer.

Oliver Watts’ photographs give us the feeling of being in a specific and immediate moment. They are beautifully composed and take us to a time, and through an atmosphere, almost otherworldly. The mist curls among the trees, the birds are oblivious to our watching. There is a quiet stillness and a concern for the quality of light. Watts wants us to know that he knows this is part illusionary. When he opens his car door to peruse a scene he is climbing over garbage and he can hear the drone of Highway 401. Watts has strewn the peripheral of the gallery space with detritus that is fascinating really in its own right. There are old food wrappers, beer bottles, and hardened paint spilling out of its can. Silent trees in a misty morning or a moon lit night pulling us along a road over a hill into the falling sun beyond the horizon is a beautiful site but nothing is perfect and Watts wants to remind us of that.

Sylvia Simpson’s watercolour and ink paintings are light, cheerful and inclusive. Rather than the monumental she aims for the beauty and lightness available in our own backyards. The imagery is articulated with black ink that gives her work a cartoon quality. There is a free immediate feeling in the lines that pulse rhythmically throughout her paintings. Each of her subjects is treated with the same sense of narrative whimsy. Simpson handles her oil on canvas in a similar way to the watercolour but as the media dictates, the result is a little heavier and the colours more solid. Amidst the chaos of colour and shape, a naive sense of harmony defines her hometown and her paintings. In Sylvia Simpson’s paintings we have a joyful respite from the gloom in global news.

To give a sense of changing styles in landscape over the last century are three landscapes from Glenhyrst’s permanent collection. Originally born in Brantford, Robert Heard Whale (1857 –1906), studied at the Royal Academy Schools in London and later Paris. His painting River and Town, View from D’Aubigny Creek, 1892 is painted in the late Romantic style that was prevalent in the work of his father, Robert Reginald Whale. Homer Watson (1855 – 1936) was born in the village of Doon, now part of Kitchener. He portrayed the Ontario landscape as more rugged than the romantic version of Whale and was celebrated for his vision.

Asking Questions:
Margie Kelk, Mansaram, Paul Roorda, Ilona Staples

March 15 — May 25, 2008
Artist Talk by Mansaram: Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 1:00 p.m.
Exhibition Reception: Sunday, March 30, 2008 from 2:00 — 4:00 p.m.
Four artists embrace life by transforming and harnessing their found media to define their work. Topical questions and observations of religion, politics, and culture are illuminated through their resourceful artwork.

Paul Roorda, observes societal ambivalence towards religion through his sculptural installations. One work, Congregation of the Ambivalent, is a collection of sixty old and worn donated Bibles that have been reclaimed and altered by volunteers. Pages were wet, dried, wrinkled and forced open with varying degrees of devotion and ambivalence. A process of repetition that was entangled with memories of childhood structure, results in a work that is a multi-layered transition of colour and form. Roorda’s selection of materials for all of his pieces are wonderfully managed, visually surprising, and are open to discussions about faith, ritual, healing and judgment.

Each of Ilona Staple’s works tackles a section of the fabric of our society to reveal its essence. Simple construction materials give way to complex ideas. Her work looks at the codependence of people and nations, from immigration to the United Nations. In her installation, Leaky Margins, the continent of Africa is broken up into all of its nations and restrung in a way to create an appeal for harmony.

Mansaram relates cultural viewpoints in his Indo/Canadian fusion of imagery that is inspired by his yearly visits back to his native land of India. Bright and joyful combinations of collage, paint, photography and computer manipulation are joined by graffiti that marks a link to language. There is an optimistic harmony that Mansaram achieves with his merging cultural imagery of gala city life, combinations of East/West architectural structures, and rituals that vary from one part of the world to the next.

Margie Kelk makes extended folding books combining photography and painting to reveal the complexities of life in China. Her images show beauty, poverty, industrialization and myth. She has studied calligraphic line drawings, Chinese brush painting, witnessed the Hanging Temple built on the side of cliffs, and the 1500-year-old Buddhist Grottos. Kelk is also attuned to China’s environmental crisis as the Communist government makes its transition to socialism and industrialization.

The visual exploration in this exhibition can induce thoughtful consideration about the way our institutions contribute or fail to meet society’s needs.

Thanks to an Ontario Arts Council Project Grant, a catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays by Kathryn Carter, Associate Dean of Laurier Brantford, Associate Professor of English and Contemporary Studies, and by the exhibition Curator, Kathryn Hogg.

Who Are We: Cynthia Kemerer, Katherine MacDonald, Mary-Anne Murphy, Remus Moldovan
January 6 — March 9, 2008
Reception: Sunday, January 20, 2008 2:00 — 4:00 p.m.
Lecture with Katherine MacDonald at 1:00 p.m.

The figure as subject in art has captivated the human race from the beginning of civilization. Humanity has a need for expression through the revelation of their own image. From idealism to abstraction, the figure has developed into a forum for the discussion of our daily preoccupations and premonitions.

The exhibition, Who Are We, presents the work of four contemporary artists who use their medium of choice in their distinctive visual language to present the viewer with their observations.

Dressing glimmering, life-size, wooden cutouts, Cynthia Kemerer offers the viewer a resolute presentation of society. The work is drawn from life models in a pointillist style, complemented by collaged and painted details of clothing, jewelry and tapestry. Kemerer is influenced by her repeated travels to countries less affluent then Canada and perhaps this dual lifestyle accounts for the uneasiness and single-dimensional quality in her characters.

Katherine MacDonald is immersed in the life of a painter, balanced in the midst of a lineage of artists. Both of her parents were artists, her mother Rae Hendershot and father, T.R. MacDonald, who was a Canadian war artist and past Director of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. From these sources comes the inspiration for her work that is fused with a subtly in layered colour and a fierce concentration on the relationship of form. The fresh figures she portrays in the studio capture a series of changing perceptions and moods.

Reflection is a reoccurring theme in Remus Moldovan’s work with mirrored images that either act as illusion or are actual mirrored elements. Using the science of perception he challenges the viewer to interpret the distortion. Using personal subject matter and relying on symbolic imagery he distorts his canvases into new shapes with constructed frames that are an integral element in the presentation of the work.

Mary-Anne Murphy’s articulate body of work is entitled Life Maps and is a concentration in respectful depictions of the elderly. The drawings are graphite on paper, selectively cropped to focus on intimate details of the face or of hands in occupation.