This weekend I was one of those boaters down in the Inner Harbour. If you were down down town I don’t think you could have missed all that gleaming brightwork. Yes, in my spare time, when I’m not making paintings and things, and when I’m not looking at art and writing about art, I am actually spending hours and hours scraping, sanding and varnishing my (our) little wooden sail boat. All so I can spend a couple of days tied up in front of the Empress showing off!

There are other benefits too, to having a sail boat. One is that you get to sail. And that’s really fun. It’s beachboys, beachboys, yeah yeah yeah! Hoisting the main and catching some wind! It’s great, it’s awesome, it’s every adjective you can think of!

And in a twist of story telling that takes us much closer to the purposes of this blog, sailing brought me into close contact with Art in Victoria this weekend. Instead of busing it in, I just strolled over to any old gallery I wanted. And in between sushi stops I did finally make it to the Boucherat Gallery, as threatened, and I did, thank the gods, finally see knew by the Woodpile Collective.

I do not know the WP Collective, by which I mean that I do not know the artists. I have almost never seen their work. I think maybe once at Open Space. But I love the WPC. I really do. The work is so Canadian, and more important still, so British Columbian that it just gnaws at me like a Douglas squirrel processing it’s winter store of Douglas fir cones. I think it might even fill me with a sense of pride. Pride of place and history and people. When I think of the WPC, I can smell Barkerville, you know?

The Woodpile Collective is the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV) re-mixed. It takes in Emily and the mountains and the trees and the totem poles and the canoes of yore, without trying probably, because when you are a part of this place, all of those things are a part of you, and they make it all speak, now. About now. Because things have changed, haven’t they? It isn’t really endless green and ten bears per square foot any more, is it?

From what I’ve heard and I’m sure from what you’ve heard, the AGGV is having problems with it’s directors and it’s curators. It’s falling behind, it’s confused and it’s not really striking the chords it needs to strike. No offence to anyone. Of course. But how about this? How about handing the reins over to the Woodpile Collective? They love the history, and what a history!, and they know what we, the boys and girls (figuratively speaking) of now, want. We want it all. The past, the future, the now, all mixed up and coloured in. It’s just my humble opinion, I know. But it’s a good idea. Isn’t it?

That last paragraph is a text book example of digression. Or maybe it’s psychologically identifiable as fantastical thinking. But whatever, it’s their fault! Look at what they’ve done to me! The Woodpile Collective as Overlords of the AGGV! It’s crazy, I know, but maybe we should start a petition.

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