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Elegies and Effigies (Material Remains)
23 Jun 2007 – 12 Aug 2007
Irena Schon Circumnavigating Venus Calling the Wind 2006
digitally toned photograph from infrared, printed in digital pigments on rag paper 55.88 x 86.36 cm
Courtesy of the artist
This exhibition focuses on Nova Scotian artists who share a preoccupation with trace imagery, detritus and elegiac themes. In Onni Nordman’s overpainted lenticular postcards, the winking Jesus appears to submerge in a toxic chemical spill Susan Feindel makes paintings that portray the gouging of the seabed by industrial fishing practices. Ed Huner and Claudia Mannion contribute paintings in which figures and objects are positioned so as to reinforce an impression of absence and vague menace.
Irena Schon’s infrared photographs of shrouded figures in watery and twilit settings are hauntingly suggestive of the spirit world, yet Susan Woods’ moving drawings of dead birds confront the fact of mortality. Jim MacSwain’s Bones of the Garden photographs bring ritual significance to the handling and recording of small animal remains discovered in his garden. In the context of such works, an exquisite etching of beach detritus by Cecil Day or Diane Castonguay Rosati acquires an elegiac meaning.
These works from all over the province highlight the aesthetic individuality and technical accomplishment of artists who, as often as not, work in considerable isolation from one another and from MSVU Art Gallery.
Elegies and Effigies is one of a group of exhibitions organized by Visual Arts Nova Scotia in partnership with Cape Breton University Art Gallery, Sydney; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax; and St. Francis-Xavier University Art Gallery, Antigonish, on the occasion of the VANS 30th Anniversary.
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