New exhibits opening at Casa this weekend show the diverse artistic palates of three different artists.
Local artist shows both his dark side as well as his more whimsical side in his exhibit, “ The Age Of Man,” on display on the second floor of Casa in the concourse gallery.
The exhibitions officially open, with a reception, Jan. 7. They run until Feb. 18.
The Age of Man includes two cabinets of sculpture created out of found items as well as a series paintings hanging on the walls of a more lighthearted, pastoral nature.
“I used to work in a mine. There]s wood salvaged from a mine. There were a lot of widows and husbands injured from working in the mines. So this is a comment on that,” he said of one of the pieces.
Another piece also created out of wood salvaged from a mine featuring a face peering through a roughly hewn wooden window, is about the plight of immigrants coming to Canada from Europe. Anybody who has a great great grandfather or grand mother mother who came here, they probably come over in steerage and that was not a peasant experience,” Gillis commented.
Other pieces look at popular children’s tales, like “Rumpelstiltskin.”
“It is a pretty grim story,” he said indicating his piece “Rumpelstiltskin.”
“The paintings are a little more lighthearted,” he said, indicating a series of paintings reflecting tranquil scenes and memories of the past.
Janice Rahn was inspired by the intricate details of poppy pods for her exhibit “Composition in the Shape of A Pod: surrounded by exquisite detail.
The exhibit includes a variety of lithographs, sculptures, textile prints and etchings on steel and mirrors placed throughout the main gallery inspired by a variety of her passions including traveling, teaching, gardening and history.
There are some of her sculptures set in the middle of the gallery, etching on burnished steel on the west wall and prints on the north wall. The back room has a display of curiosities.
“I’m also a gardener as well as an artist, so this was a way to combine them both. And I love the Victorian era and I also have a place in France. Rahn said adding her works also draw from that experience, particularly her experience learning French by teaching children in France.
“ You can see different forms in poppy pods, they have their own energy and vitality,” she said adding she was also inspired by the materials and their qualities she used, like porcelain.
“My supplier sold me his stock of porcelain at a discount,” she said noting it can melt at higher temperatures, so she decided to experiment with the results. I’m just as inspired by the process itself,” she said, noting her exhibit includes a variety of different techniques as well.
“I have been doing print making since 1976 and I come from a background of drawing,” she said, noting there is a ghost of an image left after making a print, so she decided to see what different effects she could get by layering images on top of each other.
“ I like experimenting with material,” she said.
Edmonton based, Lethbridge educated artist Bonnie Patton’s exhibit “Semantic Satiation” is the first thing seen in Casa along the passage gallery walls.
“Semantic Satiation is when you write or say a word over and over again so many times that y it loses all sense of meaning, explained Casa curator Darcy Logan.
“ Bonny has transferred that concept into an artistic process,” said Logan, indicating a series of works created by using the same word over and over again.
“Writing is about making marks to communicate,” Logan said.
The opening reception for all three exhibits is 7-9 p.m., Jan. 7 at Casa.
— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor