Exhibitions and Events
This timely and thought-provoking exhibition focused on the microcosm of contemporary ceramic practices in Atlantic Canada, including works by Joan Bruneau, Neil Forrest, Ghita Levin, Ray Mackie, Joan McNeil, Walter Ostrom, Peter Powning, Craig Schneider, Tom Smith, K.R. Thompson, and Marie Ulmer. As guest curator for this project, sculptor and teacher Arthur Handy presented a rigorous analysis of recent history and practice in ceramics, revealing issues and problems, and encouraging critical reflection on the uses of clay as a medium for art.
Wayne Boucher's recent acrylic and oil paintings employ intense, vibrant colours, in contrast to the largely monochromatic abstractions of his previous two decades of work. Parts of narratives, mythic structures and signs are more prominent in these recent works, where large expansive shapes (oceans, vistas, skies) are played against small restrictive shapes suggesting channels, fences, windmills, ladders or passageways. Mysterious and sensuous, these paintings oscillate between concentrated areas of high-energy markings and smooth single-colour planes.
In her recent works, Halifax artist Marilyn McAvoy employs recycled fragments of flats from film sets as supports for sensuous still life and flower paintings. Combining these paintings, in varying scales and degrees of finish, with other salvaged elements (faux marbled panels, wallpaper, brown crackled wainscotting) McAvoy creates assemblages that, while pleasing in their formal design, raise teasing questions about perception and visual representation.
Naked or clothed, images of the human body are central in the art of many cultures, and have always been invested with meanings beyond mere representation. Historical figure works frequently embodied allegorical or religious significance, while more recent body images often reflect the sexual and psychological anxieties of the era. Through gesture, stance, or treatment, even the most conventional figure works communicate more, perhaps, than the artist may have intended.
Presently curator of the Black Cultural Centre in Dartmouth, Henry Bishop is an artist, historian and educator, who studied graphic design at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. The front alcove exhibition presents a selection of Bishop's illustrations for learning guides for elementary school-age children -- lively images of heroes and heroines, such as Portia White and Marcus Garvey, who have contributed to the history and culture of African Canadians in Canada.
This annual exhibition celebrates the artistic creativity of members of the University community in painting, graphic art, photography, mixed media, sculpture and crafts. All members of the Dalhousie community are invited to enter and no distinction is made between amateurs and professionals. Artworks ready for display will be accepted at the Gallery from 1-12 November inclusive during regular gallery hours. Entry forms will be available in early October.
In conjunction with the Dalhousie Music Department, the Gallery will celebrate the 300th anniversary of the death of the composer Henry Purcell, 1659-1695, ("a greater musical genius England never had," Roger North, 1726) by presenting a display of art and artifacts relevent to Purcell and his times, and hosting various associated musical and literary events.
In 1994 well-known artist Ron Shuebrook generously gave a large acrylic painting and five important related black and white drawings to the Gallery's permanent collection, which, with the single Shuebrook drawing already in the collection, make up a coherent group of works that provide valuable insight into this artist's oeuvre. These will be displayed along with other works by Barker Fairly, Margaret Priest and Harold Town. The Gallery acknowledges the generosity of all donors who have contributed to our rich and lively collection of art, which we hold in trust for the whole community.
Four elegant and compelling sculptural elements -- a wide bowl and a log carved out of laminated wood, a circular pile of hundreds of wooden hands, and a copper foot suggesting a fragment of a huge monument -- make up this installation of Ontario sculptor Robert Wiens' recent work. Less sociopolitically specific than some of his earlier work, these pieces play with the historical convention of sculpture as monumental statuary, and include references to Wiens' own identity as a maker, and to his materials and processes.
In her catalogue essay for this comprehensive survey of the last five years of Halifax artist Gerald Ferguson's work, guest curator Susan Gibson Garvey writes: "In his latest and perhaps most productive period...Ferguson has given himself permission to plunder the treasury of Western painting, manipulating imagery from sources as early as classical antiquity and as recent as commercial advertising.