Take away the color and you are left with line and value.
This week I made a second visit to the Saltus Illuminati exhibit at the Art Gallery Of Alberta. This installation in the RBC New Works Gallery at the AGA, is the work of Arlene Wasylynchuk. I liked my first viewing of this work and enjoyed this second visit even more.
Set in a small, quiet, darkened room, this installation metaphorically evokes the feel of a forest with internally lit tubes of color. There are 66 of these magical cylinders, all uniquely hand painted and illuminated from within. Most are standing vertical but a dozen are horizontal as if fallen on the forest floor. The viewer is able to walk around this display (which is set in the middle of the room) and peer through the “forest” from an infinite number of different views.
It is ironic that the inspiration for this piece is the devastation of the forest caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle. Nonetheless, this work is effective in delivering a message about this threat, while reinforcing the beauty and the reason why we value our natural forests. For a very interesting news/feature story on how and why this unique piece of art came together, you must watch the Alberta Prime Time Video Story.
This exhibit is located on the second floor of the AGA, in a small darkened room, immediately on the right as you come up the stairs – don’t miss it, as you are attracted to the entrance of the big French Landscape Paintings exhibit. Saltus Illuminati runs until January 15, 2012.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting “Nature and Spirit: Emily Carr’s Coastal Landscapes” at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. Anyone that knows me well, will know that I count Emily Carr among my most favorite and influential painters.
I never miss an opportunity to see Carr’s work in person. A few years ago I took in a great show in Ottawa at the National Gallery. Any time I get to Vancouver I make a point of visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery with probably the greatest permanent collection of this west coast Canadian painter. Fortunately this AGA exhibition was organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and features many of their key, and my favorite works. Among the great works that caused by slow trip past the works to come to a complete stand still were Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky and some luscious views of the interior of the west coast rainforests (specific titles escape me at the moment).
Like the national exhibition a few years ago this exhibit of paintings is complemented by Haida Art: Mapping an Ancient Language, an equally large display of west coast native art and artifacts. The indigenous west coast peoples and cultures were a huge influence and inspiration for Carr so this pairing is ideal.
This exhibition (of 35 Carr paintings) began 2011 March 5 and runs through to June 5. If you are in the Edmonton area this is a must see exhibition. I’ll be back, a few more times – guaranteed!