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Past Exhibitions: 2001

The 48th Annual Student, Staff, Faculty and Alumni Exhibition

30 November to 19 December 2001

Our annual celebration of the creativity of students, staff, faculty and alumni of Dalhousie and King's College, in painting, graphic art, photography, mixed media, video, sculpture and crafts that makes no distinction between amateurs and professionals.

Stories of the Spirit: The films of Catherine Martin

4 October to 25 November 2001

In 1989 Catherine Martin became Nova Scotia's first Mi'kmaw filmmaker with her six-minute documentary Minqon Minqon, a profile of Maliseet artist Shirley Bear (filmed in collaboration with Kimberlee McTaggart). Today she has two feature-length films and many short films and docudramas to her name, as well as other works in progress. Through her singing, teaching, activism and work on various boards and task forces, Martin is an important advocate for aboriginal arts, education and language, and has been vital in establishing and nurturing a Mi'kmaq film culture in Nova Scotia. This exhibition of Martin's work, organized by Susan Gibson Garvey, presented two films in continuous projection, the luminous Spirit Wind, and the visually rich Kwa'nu'te, while a range of shorter works were available for viewing at individual video stations nearby.

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No Man's Land: the Photographs of Lynne Cohen

4 October to 25 November 2001

For almost three decades, internationally renowned, award-winning photographer Lynne Cohen has been hunting down and photographing "found" interiors of astonishing variety, presenting us with a funny, perplexing and ultimately chilling vision of the world - a humanly engineered environment "where the boundaries between inside and outside, nature and culture, pleasure and pain, have been blurred, stripped of their original connotations. She shows us that germ warfare factories are not so different from health spas, that robot factories are remarkably similar to classrooms, men's clubs to women's hairdressing salons, ballrooms to mortuaries." (From the introduction to the exhibition catalogue.) Ann Thomas, curator of the photograph collection at the National Gallery of Canada, provided a thoughtful examination of Cohen's oeuvre, which ranged from impeccable black and white images of the 1970s to recent large-scale colour prints. The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Canada in collaboration with the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne.

No Man's Land: The Photographs of Lynne Cohen was presented as an important component of Photopolis: The Halifax Festival of Photography, a series of exhibitions of photography and photo-based works, artists' talks, panels and related events presented in art galleries and artist-run spaces in Halifax throughout October and November 2001.

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Back to the Land:
early 20th century landscapes in the permanent collection

3 August to 23 September 2001

The works in this exhibition were all in one way or another associated with the period in which Canadian landscape painting came of age: the first half of the 20th century, when the Canadian Group of Seven and associated artists brought the raw, rugged beauty of the landscape into national consciousness, separating it for ever from the more "refined" European-influenced visions of the land that preceded them. Paintings and drawings by A.Y. Jackson, A.J. Casson, J.E.H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris and David Milne were seen in relation to works by Nova Scotia-based artists such as Edith and Lewis Smith, Marguerite Zwicker, Anthony Law and D.C. MacKay, lending a Maritime regional flavour to this mini-survey of the period. Selected by Susan Gibson Garvey from the Gallery's permanent collection.

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Black Body: Race, Resistance, Response

3 August to 23 September 2001

Curator Pamela Edmonds brought together the diverse works of six contemporary black artists around the issue of the racialized body. Works ranged from the elegant photographic nudes of Toronto-based Michael Chambers to Halifax-based Chrystal Clements' poignant icons of domesticity and community. African oral traditions and visual sensibilities were evident in Gomo George's assemblages, while formal pyramidal structures and grids reinforced Rebecca Fiske's investigations of "colourism". Extraordinary oversize drawings of human figures by Lucie Chan and thought-provoking video installations by Buseje Bailey completed this selection. An illustrated catalogue with essays by Edmonds and Montreal-based artist/writer Anthony Joyette accompanied the exhibition, which was formally opened during the Symposium on "Racism and the Black World Response" convened by the James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies in Halifax, 5-12 August. This unprecedented global forum provided a backdrop for the exhibition, which was generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ideas Canada Foundation.

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My Home and Native Land: Bobby Nock videos

11 May to 24 June 2001

Cape Breton-based artist Bobby Nock offered an affectionately ironic take on local culture in this exhibition of five videos grouped under the title My Home and Native Land: The Red Bush in Waycobah Series. The colour red, the primacy of the Group of Seven in Canadian art history, indigenous Mi'kmaq and imported Scots-Gaelic traditions, and a tourist's vision of scenic Nova Scotia became intertwined and then unravelled in Nock's dead-pan videomaking style. Out of the quirky humour and repetitive gestures emerged serious issues concerning national identities and colonial structures, as well as the contingent and complex manner in which communities and histories develop.

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Artists in a Floating World:
The Marion McCain Atlantic Art Exhibition 2000

11 May to 24 June 2001

Curator Tom Smart describes the purpose of Artists in a Floating World as exploring "strange worlds and allusive meanings in the work of a selection of artists living in Atlantic Canada." Taking Alex Colville's painting Embarkation and Christopher Pratt's painting Big Cigarette as starting points, Smart selected artworks whose pictorial composition suggests other worlds - "floating worlds" in which the sea itself often plays a determining role. A condensed version of this exhibition was organized for a cross-Canada tour by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. For its appearance at the Dalhousie Art Gallery, the exhibition was augmented with works by the original Nova Scotian participants. Over 50 artists from all four Atlantic provinces were represented, including, to name just a few, Brian Burke, Rick Burns, Marlene Creates, Tom Forrestall, Yvon Gallant, Angel Gomez, Alex Livingston, Sarah Maloney, Jane Mothersell, Mary Pratt, Susan Wood and Carl Zimmerman. The exhibition was sponsored by the New Brunswick-based McCain family in memory of Marion McCain.

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Richard Mueller: The Material of Thought

continued to 23 April 2001

This exhibition presented an examination of the complex work of Halifax-based artist Richard Mueller over the past 12 years. The selection covered some of his most engaging and challenging works, dating from the time he shifted focus from largely abstract painting to the compelling and poetic imagery of fire and light and the materials of industrial steel and glass that continue to occupy him today. Selections from previously exhibited series - such as his mixed media Firebox, Descartes, Syntax, Audobon, Chinese Modern, Inner Light and DND Revisited series - were set in the context of a number of new large glass and steel wall constructions. His recent works employed layered images of car crashes, close-up faces of boxers in the moment of a knock-out punch, and ambiguous representations of emotional states, that continued the metaphor of collision between the rational and irrational that is present throughout Mueller's work. In their process of manufacture and repetitive deployment of emotive imagery, the works make manifest that metaphorical flame of intuition as it is worked on by reason, becoming, as the artist puts it, "the material of thought". This large, in-depth survey was curated by Susan Gibson Garvey, with financial support from the Nova Scotia Arts Council.

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