2010 AOTP Symposium

UNABASHED CELEBRATION OF VISUAL ART

by Jody Farrell

A highly-anticipated annual event for visual artists and their fans, the Art of the Peace Symposium runs this year from Friday, October 15, to Sunday, October 17, 2010, at the Centre for Creative Arts in downtown Grande Prairie. The week- end, which has garnered past praise for its inclusive, unabashed celebration of visual arts, once again hosts a wide range of presentations, panels, mixers, and hands-on workshops for participants from throughout Alberta and British Columbia. This year’s symposium will feature three Alberta artists, all women living in the Calgary area, all having practiced their vocation both here and abroad.

Light Echo Installation - Dianne Bos

DIANNE BOS’S photographs have been featured in international publications, and her garden photography and writing published in Canadian, American and Japanese magazines. She has exhibited internationally since 1981 and is most widely known for her construction and use of pinhole cameras. Many of her exhibitions also feature walk-in light installations and sound pieces.

The Mount Allison, New Brunswick BFA graduate, who resides in both the foothills of the Alberta Rockies, and the Pyrenees in Europe, is fascinated with the science of light and how different devices change the perception of time and space.

On the About Dianne Bos link on her website, www.diannebos.com, a short video explains how, for Bos, shooting subjects using anything more modern than her rudimentary, hand-built pinhole cameras “put too much between me and the picture.”

“Viewers have said that my work evokes the memory-image that remains for them long after they have viewed a familiar location”, Bos says. “I think this recognizes the importance I have assigned to time, memory and capturing the essence of the place.”

Bos will present images of the installation piece Light Echo, a collaborative work with Doug Welch, a professor of physics and astronomy at McMaster University in Hamilton, On- tario. Presented in 2009 in honour of Unesco’s International Year of Astronomy, Light Echo recreates the Tycho supernova, a stellar explosion that was witnessed in 1572 and a later one, that went unnoticed, in 1680. Light echoes are leftover streaks of light that last up to thousands of years following the explosions of supernovae. Dr. Welch and a team of astronomers identified light echoes linked to those centu- ries-old explosions in a study thats success is now seen as having contributed to new ways of looking at the sky.

Bos and Welch’s recreation of the supernovae featured thousands of computer-controlled light bulbs arranged in constellations on the ceilings, walls, and ground, giving participants the illusion of sitting amidst a sea of stars. Suddenly, a silent explosion lights up the sky. A 16th century astronomer’s lab was recreated for the installation, with candles, ancient charts and globes. Bos will explain how Light Echo ties into photography and her use of the pinhole camera.

Listen To - Trudy Golley

TRUDY GOLLEY is an internationally exhibited, award-winning ceramic artist who completed her undergraduate training at the Alberta College of Art + Design and the University of Calgary, and her graduate studies at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia.

An instructor in the Visual Art Department and Head of Ceramics at Red Deer College, Golley has participated in workshops throughout the world, and has conducted ceramic artist residencies in China and tours of pottery studios in the UK.

A recent exhibition at the David Kaye Gallery in Toronto, featured work she did in collaboration with metal-smith Paul Leathers while in China. They share the website www.Alluvium.ca

Golley’s interest in unconventional ceramic surfaces follows her desire to challenge more familiar notions regarding the medium. To this end, she incorporates elements including space and light.

Golley will speak about her international studio practice, why she does these residencies, and how they inform her art. A survey of her work will show her gradual move from the representational and symbolic to the sublime, which sees negative space becoming as sig- nificant as its surrounding form.

“I create novel forms and experiences for the viewer to encounter,” Golley explains. “Without depicting a specific event, object, or place, I aim to capture a sense of the sublime in order to hold the viewer’s attention and trigger their imagination.”

Her stoneware wall piece Listen to… which Golley created “in response to the seemingly endless Canadian winters,” is designed and positioned so that sunlight passing over it creates an aurora along the wall that grows from a tiny glimmer to a significant arc.

Silvey - Larissa Doll

LARISSA DOLL, a graduate and extension faculty member of Alberta College of Art + Design, will speak of her figurative work, focusing primarily on paintings she made while living in the Congo, Africa, between 2004 and 2006.

A profile of the artist and her profound experience in that war-torn region appeared in the last issue of Art of the Peace (see www.artofthepeace.ca/is-
sue-14
).

Doll’s African subjects, mostly women, many with babies, were painted in a way that afforded them a dignity not often appar- ent in the sorrowful images of hunger and despair that were once fed to the Western world in order to drum up support and donations.

“In the Congo (painting) series, it was important for me to em- power each character,” Doll says in the article, entitled Just Under The Surface. “… I wanted to portray these women and children as symbols of strength and resilience. They should be celebrated for their strengths rather than their hardships.”
Still, those same women, whose stories Doll came to know intimately as she be-friended and painted them going about their everyday activities, endured unimaginable hardships. So affected was the artist that only now, years later, has she begun painting what she calls “the rest of the story.”

“It will be interesting to see how it’s going to evolve now that I’m not in the country anymore,” Doll remarks. She expects the work to be heavier perhaps, addressing not only the courage and resilience, but also the darkness and difficulties she shared and lived through.

“What remains the same, is it has to move me and mean something to me… I explore the act of seeing on all levels. See- ing to the extent of feeling. Painting from life captures the experience. It is a series of events pulled together forming a still impression.”


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