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.