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My purpose here is not to critique the work but to give you a taste so you will want to explore the work yourself. There are surprises. Some are disturbing, others, whimsical and impressive.
This exhibition is emerging Trench Gallery’s fourth, and builds on its mission to “present challenging, meaningful, tactile work created with a deep understanding of contemporary art practice”. My hope is that you might get curious enough to meander down to Gastown, where the gallery resides, and witness a creative mix of the traditional and the contemporary.
The Artist Statement
“I work with concepts, the medium follows. In the business of this “Indian Art World” I have become impatient with the institutional prescription and it’s monolithic attempt to define culture as it unfolds. Native American Art will not be commonly defined as our work moves freely through time. The viewer, collector, or curator’s definition often conveys more about themselves than that of the “Native Artist”.”
“In the past I have struggled with this title, though, now I embrace my position as a contemporary indigenous artist with belief that some forms of resistance often carry equal amounts of persistence. My current collection of work presents visual experiences in hope of inspiring creative dialogue with the viewer. I work with an intention to contribute towards contemporary cultural development. Through education and creative risk taking I hope to progress cultural awareness.”
This is Trench Gallery’s fourth exhibition, and if they are all as exciting as this, I will be in full attendance!
Visit Craig Sibley at 102-148 Alexander Street, Gastown, Vancouver. Exhibit goes to April 9, 2011.
For more information: 604-681-2577
A Previous Exhibit at the Trench Gallery
I love going to cafés and sipping on a plain ‘ole black coffee, or a soy latte, or, my latest discovery, a soy misto (similar to a latte with the strong Americano taste of coffee). These warm moments are superbly enhanced by good company, and engaging, stimulating conversation. A good book can be a lovely companion as well… or, even a pen and journal.
Environment is key, though, and some cafes have it, and some… don’t.
What makes a good “hang out”? Well… I guess it depends on your mood, but usually I love a place that offers comfy chairs, good intimate lighting, and some great art on the walls.
Ah… yes… great art. Again, some cafés have it, and some….don’t.
My favourite Sunday café, Cafe Dream (currently in the middle of a name change) in Dunderave, West Vancouver is home to all of the above.
Sean Choi, the owner, used to be a sushi chef and wondered how the role of barista could relate, but after too many Tim Horton coffees, he wanted to embrace the finer world of fresh organic coffee. He has done this well by exchanging his love of sushi details to the fine art of coffee.
And… he loves art, paintings.
Cafe Dream, in a prior life, launched the artistic career of a good friend of mine, Tom Carter, and soon it will be exposing another artist friend (details later). At present the walls are full with mature, beautiful works of an impressionistic style by Barbara Nirman.
Sean has created a warm atmosphere with classical music that supports both the art of coffee and the art of paintings. A complimentary mix!
If you would like to visit Cafe Dream, look for the sign that currently says Ariel’s Tea & Coffee, 2436 Marine Drive, Dunderave in West Vancouver. It is open Monday thru Friday 7am to 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 6pm
Cafe Dream is in the midst of becoming online friendly and will have a website soon. In the meantime, follow Cafe Dream on twitter:
I come from an artistic family. I grew up surrounded by pottery and paintings by my father, and fibre artistic works (weaving, knitting, needlework, quilting & more) by my mother. They were always making things. Our cupboards were filled with pottery. Our floors covered with woven and hooked rugs. I wore handmade sweaters, hats, and scarves, and funky leg warmers (still have them).
Eventually we moved from Banff to Prince Edward Island where my family purchased land, built a house, and made our own shop, which resulted in me learning the world of sales early in life.
I also puttered, dabbled in my parent’s art. I would draw, make pinch pots, slab boxes, pendants, and I would help put on Mom’s warps and sand the bottoms of Dad’s pottery so it was smooth to touch. I tried knitting, but was abysmal. When it came to craft fair time, I would help load & unload the van, and watch my mother skillfully display their work. These observations served me well later in years!
My Dad taught as well. When he taught his drawing and painting classes I would sometimes sit in and partake. I would overhear some of his instruction and try to apply it. I liked it. I would get frustrated, but mostly I liked it. But I preferred drawing so I would do that more frequently by myself.
But… it’s funny.
My parents were always the artists in my mind. I wasn’t an artist. I didn’t feel I could own that title. They were very good at what they did, and I admired their singled passions.
Finally, years later, I thought I had discovered a similar passion in acting. And, yes… it most certainly is a passion but I still felt I also wanted something where I didn’t need an audience or a team. Writing, yes… a definite possibility, as I used to love doing that when I was a kid, too… And, when I show up to my blog, I am happy.
You know what?
Just last week, I dove back into the world of paint, encouraged by my painter friend, Melanie Kobayashi, and experienced a ripple of surprising excitement. Mel guided me into her studio, offered me paints, a massive piece of heavy paper, and ordered me to “load up your brush and don’t be scared!” I did what I was told, and soon was having a cathartic dance with the paint and canvas.
My inner critic showed up several times just to keep me humble and sweating. “Anyone can do that” “You’re cheating” “That’s doesn’t take talent” “Who do you think you are painting?” “Wow.. bad taste in colour”…I chased away it away many times.
I replaced my inner expulsions to “I’m just having fun”…. And some obscene chasing off remarks, similar to “buzz off”.
I succeeded in keeping going, and not succumbing to a perfectionist attitude. It was hard work in some ways, and on the other side it was deeply satisfying. And, because of the size of the work… oh, boy.. did my thighs ache the following days. But in the best way possible!
Would you like to see it? I hesitated to post my first attempt, my first abstract purge, but, what the heck!
It’s a wild one… I decided to call it “Mel Made Me Do It”….
Funny how one seemingly unrelated creative activity can open the doors to others. Some old plans for something have re-emerged since painting but… that’s for another time.
Where do you allow yourself to play, create, and open the channels?