Ryan Marsh Fairweather, "Worry Dolls," glass, 2009.
Cities, October 16 to November 14, 2009, Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Calgary
BY: Richard White
Bee Kingdom is a collective of three graduates from the Alberta College of Art and Design’s 2005 Glass Program — Phillip Bandra, Tim Belliveau and Ryan Marsh Fairweather. Why the name Bee Kingdom? Because their studio is in garage (their kingdom) of the house they share in Calgary’s inner city, where they live and work collectively like bees in a hive. Also, hot glass has the texture of liquid honey. Cities will be an eclectic collection of glass, paintings and digital drawing. Visually the work is playful and colourful, and on a conceptual level the artists are attempting to assimilate ideas from philosophy, myths and their observations of contemporary urban living. Marsh Fairweather’s work is a futuristic world of amoeboid and robotic creatures inspired by Japanese cartoons and anime. He calls it “cute culture.” Belliveau links the landscape and living creatures in a curious and narrative manner, and Bandra’s recent work draws inspiration from sand castles, factories and office towers in an attempt to capture the duality of the urban world — both playful and hollow. Together, it’s an exhibition of young, ambitious artists just beginning to develop a vocabulary and links between imagination and reality.