Terres rouges: red earths is a mystery, a mystery, a mystery. To me.

But first things first. Open Space. Open Space is probably the best gallery space in the city. Not because of the administrators or the founders or the artists, but because of the actual physical space*. I’m certain that the people are outstanding, but the space! oh the space!

For those of you who haven’t seen the Open Space gallery it is a large, rectangular, high ceilinged room. At the far end large paper covered windows throw soft light onto the pale yellow broad planked floors. It is a religion, there at Open Space. It is a glorious religion of space and light and art.

It is important to understand the space, to understand the beauty and stillness of the space, because terres rouges:red earths is, as it says, red. It is red. It is red in a way that only red can be; compact, intense, powerful, and completely real.

The red is yarn. Yarn spirals. Three of them. The spirals are large. A matter of big, bigger and biggest. They spin round and round on the floor, tight to the ground like something alive and clinging. Within each spiral is a series of bumps and lumps and in one case something approaching a small mountain. These are made of sand. They are covered in the spiralling red yarn as well. They do not effect the perfect roundness of the spiral as a whole. They protrude from the red spiralling earth like pimples or like moons in orbit.

It is a mystery, I suppose, because these red spirals and the sandscapes they cover/smother are so many things other than yarn and sand. They are body and Earth and space; they reference music (as in spinning vinyl) and they are fields and fields and fields of colour; they are moving and they are still. These spirals can take us almost anywhere. They bring so much of our universe together; us, our senses, the planets and the unknown, silence and motion, and they’re made of just yarn and sand. Simple. Mysterious. Beautiful.

Martine Dolbec was not able to attend her Victoria opening. I have not been able to contact her and I have found very little information on the web about her work. So she too is a mystery to me. Unfortunately. I would have liked to have asked her about her process. What must it have taken to spend hours and hours on the floor, methodically unwinding balls of red yarn into perfect and large spirals? What thoughts, what breath, what discipline?

I may never know.

Terres rouges: Red Earths is showing at Open Space until May 2.

*I really don’t know any of the above alluded to folks, with the exception of a certain Thomas Koivukangas who I met at Ms. Dolbec’s opening. Well, in truth we met at Jocelyn Beyak’s opening at Xchanges’ new gallery space, but that’s another story which will be told on Goody (check out the link!).

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