Memory Factory: Caribou Harbour closes W(here) Festival 2012

When filmmakers David Craig and Katherine Knight moved to the “Old Simpson house” in Braeshore, Nova Scotia, they soon came to discover that the history of the area and the house were so rich, it impacted the entire community around them for over 100 years.

Memory Factory: Caribou Harbour “celebrates Caribou Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada past and present. The project invites contributions in terms of memories, facts and reflections of this place. It aims to be a receptacle for the oral histories gathered from near and far about lives lived in and around this area.”

The project is an online collection of stories, images and videos all focused on the history of Maritime Packers, a lobster packing plant, purportedly the largest in the world during its heyday, which was open from approximately 1875 – 1975.

Memory Factory was developed by Katherine Knight of York University, Department of Visual Art with the assistance of David Craig and Site Media Inc. (www.sitemedia.ca ) in cooperation with the Northumberland Fisheries Museum of Pictou, Nova Scotia. It intends to foster a greater awareness and understanding of the fishing industry and its history in this part of the Northumberland Straight.

Site Media has produced four documentaries on Canadian artists: Annie PootoogookKinngait: Riding Light into the WorldPretend Not to See Me: The Art of Colette Urban, which received Special Mention at the 2010 Ecofilm Festival in Rhodos, Greece; and KOOP – The Art of Wanda Koop, which premiered as the gala night selection at the 2011 Reel Artists Film Festival, Toronto. Site Media Inc. is currently developing a film on the architecture of Todd Saunders on Fogo Island, NL.

The launch of Memory Factory was the perfect end to the inaugural W(here) Festival. Each project both took a journey to answer the question “Where is here?” and what they came up with was a refreshing reminder of pride and joy in being exactly where you are.

www.wherefestival.ca
www.memoryfactory.ca

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Poupart: Phenomenal Art Gallery, itty bitty space.

Artouteast is reaching out a bit this week, as the new Poupart Gallery has no fixed address; nor is it an e-gallery. Nope, it is a physical space, small enough to fit in the back of your car and travel the world. Poupart comes from the French word for doll poupée but also carries a sense of whimsy and playful sarcasm.

Here are a few questions I asked Director/ Curator Lianne Zannier:

Where did the gallery come from?

I purchased the house in Montreal from Jean Gilbert who has a storage container/shed where he holds perpetual yard sales all summer long. What is particular about these yard sales is that Gilbert is a collector of antiques along with memorabilia from St Henri which is the neighborhood of Montreal in which I reside. Inside his space he has the streetcar used in the film Bonheur D’occasion based on the book by Gabrielle Roy about St. Henri. He also has full stain glass panels of the original church that used to be in the center of the neighborhood. Pretty amazing really, especially when you consider that the neighborhood has been in the process of gentrification for several years now with old factories turned into lofts, offices or art spaces. Gilbert has a record of this place tucked away and disassembled into parts behind a garage door of a storage container which is sandwiched between two duplexes, the roof is caving-in in certain spots but form the outside you would never know. The dollhouse itself was poorly made, with rusted nails, glued in strange places and the inside was painted with crazy bright colours, some of the paint dripped down onto other floors. Actual carpet, that was moldy, had been glued to one of the top floors. I have basically taken the shell of the dollhouse and renovated it. I called it doing ‘home renos.’ So the dollhouse half belongs to Gilbert’s St. Henri and half belongs to me.
for more info on Jean Gilbert: http://www.milieuxdefavorises.org/serie_C/32.html

 What is the mandate of the gallery all about?

The gallery is about manipulating scale; providing an alternate way of looking at and presenting work. The Poupart Gallery aims at playing with nostalgia, narrative and the potential for miniatures to be both big and small at the same time. The goal of the Poupart Gallery is to manipulate those concepts. It is part curatorial and part collaboration between artists’, the space and myself.

The first installment of the Poupart Gallery is taking place from March 9th to 12th as part of the Art Matters Festival at a gallery in St. Henri called Coatcheck Gallery. Inside you will find  a combination of installations by artists Amele Bissonnette who has made miniature ceramic furniture; Hugo Dufour, who has recreated dioramas he uses for his photography; and Kamil Chajder who is installing the puppets from a stop-motion animation. The attic of the Poupart Gallery contains a miniature projector (Really!), so (Zannier) will be screening several animated works.

This brings the idea of “Pop Up” stores and galleries to a whole other place.

Congrats, Lianne, and Happy Birthday to you AND Poupart Gallery!

www.poupartgallery.com


Art! Beer! Hockey! Now that I have your attention…

How does an Art installation come to be posted on the Canadian Beer News website? Amazing. Enter “The King and I”, a collaboration between Halifax based artist and curator Eleanor King; and Toronto based Stefan Hancherow.  Opening on February 4th, Hockey Bar will transform the Confederation Centre for the Arts’ Entrance Gallery in Prince Edward Island “into a welcoming social space that features both hockey and beer related artworks alongside [Prince Edward] Island hockey memorabilia.”

The King and I

The King and I - Eleanor King and Stefan Hancherow

Imagine your favorite sports bar housing  Graeme Patterson’s Ten Point Game, a table-hockey based sculpture featuring an animation narrated by Darryl Sittler; Ali Nickerson’s altered bar stool, Colleen; and, Andy Warhol’s Wayne Gretzky 99. And what would the ambiance be without an assortment of beer kegs, bottles and labels?

This dynamic duo is definitely onto something, and it has the art community and sports fans alike talking and, well, drinking beer.

The Confederation Centre for the Arts

The King and I


Garry Neill Kennedy does what he set out to do

Kennedy, American History PaintingGarry Neill Kennedy is on my top 5 people to meet. What would I say if I sat down for coffee with Mr. Kennedy? Probably nothing that he hasn’t heard before. “Mr. Kennedy, Average Size, Average Colour was my aha moment in conceptual art”, or “Where do you think conceptual art is right now?” and maybe, if I was feeling really corny, I would thank him for the immeasurable contribution to conceptual art, and artouteast.

Until April 1, 2012, the Louise and Reuben-Cohen Art Gallery at the Université de Moncton presents Garry Neill Kennedy: Photoworks 1969 – 2011. Kennedy’s first exhibition focusing on photography aims to foster a better understanding of the work of the artist as a whole and of his contribution to the evolution of contemporary art in Canada and in the Atlantic region.

The Louise and Reuben-Cohen Art Gallery is located at 405 Université Avenue, in the Clément Cormier building on the Université de Moncton campus. Gallery hours are 1 PM to 4:30 PM, Tuesday to Friday, and 1 PM to 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free.  For more information on the Louise and Reuben-Cohen Art Gallery and its activities, please visit the web site: www.umoncton.ca/umcm-ga or find us on Facebook.  The gallery can be reached by phone: (506) 858-4088 or by email: galrc@umoncton.ca.


D’Arcy Wilson and Susan Wood at the Owens January 13th

 

Artouteast is back! After a much too long hiatus, what better was to start up with a bang than at the Owens in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Tuck is a multimedia installation by New Brunswick artist D’Arcy Wilson, which explores themes of absence, isolation, and vulnerability in western society’s postcolonial relationship with wildlife. In May 2011 the artist filmed a performance coinciding with a residency at the Banff Centre during which she sang lullabies to the taxidermied animals at the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site. As the artist notes: “This act offers an alternative to the liaison formed between the specimens and their creators (the hunters and taxidermists who prepared them a century ago). Nevertheless, there is perversity in both our actions: the animals were killed for display, and now I propose to sing them to sleep, overlooking their inability to abandon their posts”.  The exhibition is accompanied by a brochure by guest-writer Rita McKeough.


Earth Skins: Three Decades of Drawing
is a retrospective exhibition which documents the production of Halifax artist Susan Wood, whose practice is devoted primarily to drawing. Her work of the past decade embodies the idea of finitude, reflecting on mortality and loss. A range of graphic techniques, often on textured handmade papers, begins within the frameworks of geography, museology and botanical illustration and broadens into an appreciation of the drawings as metaphors of entropy and death. This exhibition includes the dramatic series Devil’s Purse (1985) and Dress (1989-91), which were inspired by various stages of women’s corporeal experiences. The exhibition has been organized by the Mount St. Vincent University Art Gallery, guest curated by Susan Gibson Garvey.

Both exhibitions run from January 13th until February 26th 2012.

Visit the Owens Art Gallery Website for more information.

 

 


Artist Risen: Eleanor King

 

Halifax artist Eleanor King personifies artouteast’s mandate. Artist, professor, musician, mover and shaker, King is bringing to the forefront the vibrant art scene of the Maritimes for all of us to see.
King is an interdisciplinary artist who works with site-specific installation incorporating elements of audio, video, photography, and sculpture. Her work fuses found materials in a playful way to critique social behaviours, investigating consumer and tourist cultures.

Obso-less-sense: room from entrance, A version of this work will be presented at Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John's NL in 2011. Image by Steve Farmer

I asked her, “what is Tourist Culture?” She explained it is a term that she coined in 2002, when the Nova Scotia Arts Council was disbanded, replaced with what the minister of culture so cleverly deemed the Nova Scotia Arts and Partnership Council in the Department of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage.

“It sounded like double-speak to most of us, and it was clear:  we no longer had a fully independent, arms-length, art funding organization.   It has always bothered me that Tourism was lumped in with Culture, and felt that the exported ideas of Nova Scotia (or generally east coast) were outdated, false and unfortunate. Our exported “culture” was based on the assumptions that others might have of this place, ideas promoted basically for the benefit of tourists.  The fiddle music, the sou’wester fisherman hats, the east coast music awards, these examples didn’t reflect my experience, which was of real, contemporary, and exciting things that were actually going on.”

King has exhibited nationally and internationally and has participated in residency programs in Canada and the US. King teaches in the Media Arts department at NSCAD University and holds the position of Exhibitions Coordinator at Anna Leonowens Gallery. She is also a member of indie-rock bands The Just Barelys and The Got to Get Got.

This week King is getting ready for Art Rising, an annual fundraising gala in support of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax in which she is participating. It’s all very secretive; even the location will not be revealed until the night before the event on March 5th.

Needless to say, she’s busy. What is on the agenda after Art Rising?

After Art Rising this week, it’s on to the next: a piece in a group show called “Warming up” at Confederation Centre, an installation for Nuit Blanche Toronto, a 2-person show with Dustin Wilson at Eastern Edge in St. John’s and a show with Le Pont Gallery in Syria.

http://www.eleanorking.com/

http://www.artrising.ca/