By Bill Staubi
Gatherers promised to be a unique experience… that rare occasion where the techniques and principles that govern the medium of the art also mirror the development and installation of the show itself.
In an effort to draw attention to collage as a contemporary fine art medium, six talented collage artists set their sights on showing how their use of the medium goes beyond an art-making process we might think we know. Working independently to create the pieces for the show, the six women collaborated to turn Gallery 101 into an immersive collage experience.
So March 23rd I ubered on over to the vernissage and artist talk to see if they had pulled off their ambitious plan of showing a fresh take on an age old medium. And boy oh boy have they ever! Kristina Corre has curated an exciting display of works that form a testament to collage being all about today.
In one corner you’ll find an interactive collaged scuplture. Corre explained to the crowded gallery that the hands represent those of Fillipino elders as she demonstrated the tradition of pressing an elder’s hand to your head as a blessing.
Regreta Brown describes her technique for harnessing old polaroid pictures to become repositories for new images she collages. Coupled with these are her out of this world collages depicting space tourism—yeah—space tourism; pack your bags!
From outer space to deep inner space, Rebecca Clouatre takes you on a 40 week journey through her pregnancy by way of 20 collaged representations of nature; cleverly inspired by the apps designed for expectant mothers.
Your head is spinning trying to get your mind around the innovative materials and techniques these artists are using when you think your eyes light on something familiar. But as Olivia Johnston makes you fall in love with gem-like dead flies and treasured puppy teeth you just know you’re not in Kansas any more. In the lead-up to the show she promised something witchy and she has you in her spell as she hands you over to Lori Langille.
Lori Langille has taken the myriad of tasks that weigh on a woman’s mind and shoulders and delivered a set of goddesses that defy you to look away. Pulling the various pieces together, like the glue in all these pieces, Amy Thompson’s masterful geographic collages sparkle with hints of gold and the natural beauty of the outdoors. None of this should work together… but does it ever!
The opening drew a capacity crowd of appreciative viewers. Folks eagerly asked questions and the artists generously shared their motivations, techniques, insights, and the trepidation felt in preparing for the show.
You may have missed “a moment” but make the time to pop in to the Gallery and become reacquainted with a medium made modern all over again by these skilful six alchemists. A how-to workshop in collage is planned. The date is not yet set but check out the Gallery website where details on dates and times will be posted.
Gatherers is on view at Gallery 101 (280 Catherine St) until April 20, 2019. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Visit gallery101.org for more details or to book a tour.