One of the things that inspires me is art. I love looking at the work of all types of creators, even if it is material I wouldn’t choose for my home. While the way an artist uses colour or scale or line is always interesting it is the ideas behind the work that fascinate me. That was the case with an exhibit opening I attended at Calgary’s Esker Foundation in Inglewood. My post about the show is a bit delayed because of the YYC Flood situation, but in the spirit of better-late-than-never here is the post.
There are three artists being shown until September 6: Janet Werner, Dagmara Genda and Jillian McDonald. Each works in a different medium. My view is that a person’s art is a reflection of how they see the world. It’s about communication and so art is an amazing way to understand one another, especially if we make the effort to listen.
What ideas were we discussing after viewing the show? Well, Werner’s paintings are composite images inspired by fashion magazines, but show the reality beneath the gloss. Sometimes, it isn’t pretty, people. Nope, not pretty at all.
The intricate collage work by Dagmara Genda challenges stereotypes of the Canadian wilderness and definitely gives pause in terms of the romanticized notions of our landscape that are often presented. Are our parks and wild places really the pristine scenes we imagine?
Jillian McDonald has a high definition video installation that is shown in three channels. The video uses the uncanny combination of the horror and romance genres to present the folklore and landscape of the Scottish Highlands where the piece was filmed. Spooky, but not gory.
Certainly my reactions to each of these artists will be different than yours and so I’m not going to give you a “review” except to say I enjoyed the show and the discussions that came out of it. The topics my husband and I covered included what you see vs. what is real, the way our natural resources are used and even how our children might react to some of the content. We also spent some time discussing the (stunning!) gallery space, its mandate and what it means for the city.
If you get a chance, definitely go see this exhibition. Admission is free. Parking is free. You can tour it either on your own, or participate in some of the programs and guided tours that are available.
Also, if you do go, let me know what you think!