throw down

It happened.  A sad separation after a lot of years.  Unhappy years I guess, although sometimes happy; every once in a while… happy.  He had a really big cock. The Breakup took place mid-October.  Throw Down is now.  End of January.  That’s quite a while doing nothing, just going to work so I can pay for the hamburger to feed the dog.  He’s demanding, he expects it now, the dog; hamburger.  Going to work and going to meetings so I can keep sober.

Turns out I’m chronically unlucky in love.  Or something like that (maybe I’m a bitch, maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m chronically damaged, maybe it’s the booze and the drugs and cigarettes).  Anyway the last breakup, many years ago and I drank my way through it and just never bothered to slow down and pick up where I left off before my heart was broken.  Just kept drinking through another ten years with another man until I couldn’t take the drinking and the puking and all the other shit that goes with near constant drinking.

And another 10 years slips through your hands like nothing.  Like nothing.  Nothing.

This is true.

In case you’re wondering this isn’t an art review.  It’s more of a half assed meditation on moving forward by moving forward, as they say.  Remember that song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover?  Slip out the back Jack.  Make a new plan Stan.  Hop on the bus Gus.  Just leave the key Lee.

You know.  Just move on.

Many thanks to the many people I saw at the opening of Throw Down last night.

Megan Dickie

Philip Willey

Tyler Hodgins

Efren Quiroz

Debora Alanna

Richard Motchman

Troi Donnelly

John Donnelly

Barry Herring

Aubrey Burke

Doug Jarvis

Wendy Welch

Laura Dutton

And a variety of other people who I smiled at or chatted to but who’s names I can’t remember or never knew.  It was fun.  Art….the great escape.  Or is that too romantic?


Kathy Guthrie! Oh! What a Life!

@ Ground Zero Printmakers Tonight!

In a recent email Kathy wrote,

Here are three photos from the printing process and one scan of a completed print with calligraphy added as the last step.   My Dad worked as an Ontario Land Surveyor from 1949 – 1999 hence the pieces of the Ontario map on each of the 13 prints.  The photos are taken from his childhood into old age.  He has a long list of accomplishments and is a hero to many, including me of course!  I made 9 sets of these prints which will all be packaged in a hand made portfolio and given to each of my 6 sibilings and my parents for Christmas (I will keep the extras). That’s the project in a nutshell! 

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Hurry!  Head down to Chinatown and see this nostalgic and poignant series, or check out more of Kathy’s work on her website.

Sandra Doore: Horizontal Desires

I went to see Sandra Doore’s work, Horizontal Desires, at Xchanges.  3 times.  The first and third times, the work had been removed to give room to the weekly life drawing sessions which take place in the gallery at Xchanges, leaving to see only three perfect holes in the ceiling and three perfect ceiling-hole sized plugs screwed into the floor.  Nothing else, just remnants in a white room and little scattered bits of fluffy stuff, maybe insulation or something.


During my second visit, which was on a Saturday, during official gallery hours, I did indeed see the installation in its entirety.  Three silver poles wedged between the holes in the ceiling and the plugs on the floor.  And three bulging shapes.  In a white room, nothing else, but bits of fluff scattered about on the floor.


People told me, before I went, that the work was very sexy.  People told me this in the slightly breathless voices of early arousal.  I remembered that some of Sandra Doore’s previous work incorporated panties and that they looked a bit like large grey penises encased in lace, some kind of man/woman blend suggesting intercourse or maybe cross dressing or the Transgendered.


But Horizontal Desires, no.  If this is sexy, I wonder what is sexy?  There are three shapes on silver poles in a white room, with bits of fluff on the floor.  Extending from  the top of each shape is a tunnel of wrinkled material clasping each pole, like vaginas encasing and giving, in rhythm, to the thrust of a cock, but the shapes are not women (or men for that matter).


The shapes are smooth and softly curving, the textures soft and varied like perfect skin.  It’s easy to say yes, they are bodies, women’s bodies, they are sexy, clinging to poles, but I cannot.  I feel resistance.  They are not women’s bodies.  They are not women.  They are not sexy.  They are disembodied, they are nothing but shapes with random, disfiguring splotches of stitching, clinging to silver poles.


The stitching is horrific.  It makes me feel disgusted.  It’s ugly and crazy.  It scares me; it’s so relentlessly disordered, crossing and looping and making tangled senseless lines, completely useless.  Who sews like that, unless you are a child, an impatient, stupid, greedy child?


I saw the installation with a friend, her 14 year old daughter and her daughter’s friend.  Later in the car, the girls told me about a movie they’d seen where women were sewn together, mouth to ass, so that food became shit and shit became food.


It’s not sexy.  There’s sickness there instead.  I don’t know why.  It’s so much bigger and endless than anything I could write in words on this page for this website.  And maybe no one would care anyways.


There is some need perhaps.  Some need for resistance.

Give ‘Em The Chair, Marcia

At Xchanges Gallery, opening this night, is Give ‘Em The Chair, by Marcia Perkins.  I was there yesterday helping a fellow artist install his work on the Balcony and felt so pleased at the over all appearance of Marcia’s show.  In fact, this is almost my ideal art show…no, not almost, this is really an ideal show.  Minimal, pale, elegant.  Controlled, but limpid.  I love it!

The portraits done during the Wednesday morning drawing sessions at Xchanges are lovely, delicately rendered pencil studies of men and women posing in a chair; the same chair every time, a green cushioned, wood framed chair that happens to be a favourite amongst people attending business meetings at Xchanges.  I know.

The title is ok, but somehow it seems superfluous.  I can’t really imagine how the reverberating suggestion of electrocuting  criminals (and others) works with this very serene showing of drawings.  Surely being the subject of an artist’s pencil is not so traumatic as that?  I realize that it’s fun to have a quirky title, but maybe something simple like, Drawings, would have been more in keeping. I mean it matters, doesn’t it?  What words mean?

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the Mary & Moses Sculpture Garden Show


Several months ago I invited a group of artists to come and install sculpture in the garden where I live.  Wonderfully, everyone I asked, agreed.  4 acres of gardens, lawns, forests and beaches right in Deep Cove, previously owned by an English woman, named Mary Martin, this is a magical place full of trees and birds and newts and racoons.  This weekend only it’s full of art too.  Mary died last year, aged 91, after 40 years of tending this land, and her garden is up for sale.  My husband and I rent a cottage here.  We’ve lived here for about 8 years.  We’ve been blessed and blessed again, living here with the trees, and I’m glad that Mary’s sons, especially David and Chuck, were so kind to let me share this space with other artists.

Todd Lambeth.  Surveyor’s stakes in a grey scale.

Christine Clark.  Cabbages (paper and paint)

Debora Alanna.  White on black, in the pond.

Elyse Portal.  Clay pieces in the trees.

Tyler Hodgins.  Tent City in miniature.

Troi Donnelly.  Nonsense words and plastic cones.

Wendy Welch.  Chairs.

John Luna.  String and other things.

Michael Jess.  Burial Performance–time capsule.

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Danielle Baskerville

Blu Smith: paintings about paintings

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Probably one of the most interesting aspects of meeting artists, seeing their work, their spaces and hearing their thoughts about art making, is the similarities between people, regardless of how different the art.  Interviewing Blu Smith for Focus magazine, I was surprised to hear that his work is all about the material, the paint and the brushes, essentially.  He refused to concede that his work might actually be about his thoughts, his experiences, his emotions, even, about life, and particularly about his life.  Although his approach is slightly less intellectual, and although his work sells in a commercial gallery, this idea of the material as a blockade of sorts between the artist and the viewer, perhaps even between the artist and himself, reminded me very much of Daniel Laskarin’s work.  It’s shocking to realize that the artist behind powerful and seemingly emotionally driven art, feels almost no need to discuss what seems so obvious, and not only that, but it’s almost as if the obvious isn’t at all obvious.  It seems to come as entirely unexpected.

It’s a bit simplistic really, what I’m writing right now, but it’s interesting.