1 of 2
Davida Kidd, "Bluff," 2005, mixed media on metal baking pan and found objects, 11.5" x 12" x 1.5".
2 of 2
Dougal Graham, "With Weapon," 2005, graphite and mixed media on paper, 11.5" x 7.5".
Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery
Through August 10, 2005
By Ann Rosenberg
Eleven participants in Drawing Room are between 20 and 45 years old. The Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery typically supports such emerging artists in the belief that they are creating up-to-date, often excellent work that deserves to be seen and purchased. At a few hundred dollars or less, the pieces are as affordable as a night out or a weekend at Whistler, and definitely more lasting.
In Drawing Room, the rendering styles of the emerging artists are sometimes influenced by academic precedents. Carrie Walker’s torsos of animals “trapped” in the centres of large sheets of grey paper look like biological specimen studies. Her titles often include ironic references — for example, Whippet (canis familiaris) seen as often at the Ritz as in the pits, conjures up the image of a Paris Hilton-type owner for this over-bred pooch. One of Stephanie Béliveau’s black charcoal, salon-style book plates is her bold, upside-down version of Durer’s Rhinoceros. With a few accurate lines, Kitty Blandy captures the essence of canines engaged in dominance play at a dog park. Corri Lynn Tetz presents carefully rendered graphite portraits in conjunction with paper collage in a way that remembers Cubism. Geoff Carter has also used collage as one element in drawings that feature colour pencil portraits of 18th century dandies.
The only non-objective pieces in Drawing Room are George Vérgette’s lyrical evocations of Paradise and Graham Gillmore’s word art.
Twenty-first century sources — particularly comics, ads, computer games and the Internet — inspire many aspects of the remaining artists’ works. Simplified heads like you see in comic books are the pictures on the walls in Geoff Carter’s Wall Paperseries. Marc Séguin’s only drawing on display is composed of four large faces. Dougal Graham seems to have delved into the Internet for the visual bits (plans, diagrams, oriental slogans) that surround and give substance to his competent heroine, and Max Wyse has, perhaps, engaged in similar research for the content of his enigmatic drawings.
Cartoon-like profiles of a pair of zoned-out teenagers are on the top surface of Davida Kidd’s amusing sculpture Bluff. The object is surmounted by a zany handle, shaped like a section of Vancouver’s Skytrain trestle and crowned with a wind-up London bus toy. Jessica Bushey’s limited edition children’s book, called LOST, has stolen the lower halves of Japanese fashion illustration figures to create the sense of a crowd seen from a pre-schooler’s perspective. Bushey’s own words, combined with chunks of chat-room chatter downloaded from the Web, form the text of a book that wittily refers to what passes as literacy these days.