Ian Rawlinson, "Fascination," 2002, acrylic on canvas, 18 "x 22".
Saskatoon artist Ian Rawlinson explores a seemingly mundane subject in his paintings: suburban neighbourhoods at night. Rawlinson’s luminous paintings take us to backyard vantage points, from which we see the shadows of after-dark punctuated by intense pools of window or street lights. Like inkblots, the scenes evoke myriad emotions and psychological connections. What is distancing and alienating to one viewer, might be warm and inviting to another. A sense of anonymity might as easily be a sense of belonging. Mysterious, ominous, voyeuristic? Or peaceful, homey and familiar? “The power of these works resides in their ambiguity and mute testimony,” writes George Moppet in his notes from a 2001 Mendel Art Gallery show. “A sense of order and unity, experienced during the daylight, gives way at night to a degree of uncertainty and apprehension.” Ian Rawlinson’s first solo show runs October 20 to November 2, 2002 at Darrell Bell Gallery. He is represented in Edmonton at the Agnes Bugera Gallery.