A Stillness

Shearer-Poem-for-VeniceShearer is representing Canada at the Venice Biennale. His portraits of rockers, displayed inside this pavilion, don’t move me (I am alone in this). But I sure as hell feel his megapoemliths. This flamboyant and masterful expression has a quiet and thoughtful corollary in Shearer’s commentary on his work. Painting characters with a balance of masculinity and femininity “creates a stillness”. Et cetera. Dude, you had me at Cornholination.

The Perpetual Triumph of Magic


There is a corner of Engine Gallery that flips my Lynch switch. I am gliding towards a mysterious item, and as detail increases, so does the attraction. But now repulsion begins to creep in. I can’t stop. I arrive at the item. The depth below the perfect surface of the sphere beguiles. And in the depth –

Chaos and Cacophany!

Strands and puddles and murk and spray and all of it feeling very vulnerable and violent. Spilled.

The gallerist approaches and tells me that the series was created in response to Bennett’s experience of her granddaughter’s malignant tumours. I must know more.

There is not much more available online, and as usual it is an exercise in magic-spoiling, the habit I can’t shake. Simple glass, mirror, varnish, embedded items equally common. Bennett is a former executive at TV Ontario. But of course the real magic of art is that unsolveable effect, much more than the sum of its parts. The flip of the switch.

Tumourous work not pictured, but viewable at the link below.

Diana Bennett at Engine Gallery.

You Think You Know


Lucky, 2010 © Jessica Joslin

There is a school of thought which maintains that everyone has some special ability. Obviously, I have no idea whether or not that is true. One thing I do know, Jessica Joslin’s experience of flea markets and antique shops is different than mine. I see antlers, casters, saxophone. She sees Lucky (pictured) and his pals (link below). If that’s not enough, she can actually realize that vision.

Something else you can’t know without asking, but that I am comfortably imagining, is that Jessica Joslin enjoys Barbara Gowdy‘s writing.

Jessica Joslin.

Abrasive, Offensive, and Heretical


l-r: Reclining Dude, lithograph; Tricycle #1, torn steel and chain; Duelling Dickheads, acrylic transfer.

And now to get off the roundablog of art-of-the-moment, and share a little rearview of Peter Walker. Walker was born in London, England, but grew up and studied primarily in western Canada, before switching coasts to practice and teach in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Walker has worked in painting, lithography, photography, drawing and sculpture for over forty years. The work is in private and public collections, including that of the National Gallery of Canada. Walker’s work has often been controversial, as it goes to the places we are taught not to go in polite discourse, such as sexuality and religion. Read more courtesy The Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Mount Saint Vincent University Gallery, and the artist’s own site. Or just hang out, offended and abraded, with the images here. The tricycle works, by the way.

When Heavy Is Beautiful

Meant to post this earlier, but Christmas chaos has diminished my efficiency. The Inspiration Room has featured the arresting work of Seven Meters in Copenhagen, including some commentary by founder Jens Galschiot.  Their grim and dramatic statues were installed around the city for the COP 15 Summit on Climate Change. Much of the work deals with the issue of climate-driven displacement.

Copenhagen Statues by Seven Meters.

Made of JEWELS!



Jen Grant collects garbage, and with it, sculpts political commentary in public spaces. The projects are pleasing, sometimes by virtue of their materials (a hammock made of jewelry!), sometimes by virtue of their inventiveness (chairs turned into steps up and over a fence), and sometimes by virtue of their environment (a swing hanging from the Botanic Gardens bridge), but always by virtue of their politics, expressing notions about freedom, waste and capitalism.

Learned of her at Wooster Collective. See her work, read her ideas:

jen grant: hammock.