Thursday, September 14, 2017

Robert Youds at Winchester Galleries on Fort Street

Robert Youds : City Cut Flowers 
September 14 to 30, 2017 

Opening Reception:  Sept. 14, 2017 - 7pm 
Winchester Galleries
665 Fort St.

Karel Doruyter at Madrona Gallery - 2017

We are busy getting ready for Karel Doruyter's solo show, opening this Saturday from 1-4pm. You are invited to come down to meet Karel and see this stunning exhibition, including the largest painting he has ever made, at 15' long.

In this latest collection, Doruyter continues to refine his textured landscapes while also looking inward, creating a collection of complex and engaging pieces.

Opening reception Saturday September 16, 1-4pm
Artist in Attendance.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane @ Open Space

It starts in the wild lands of the West Coast Trail, where Holyoak and Shane will spend 10 days hiking to collect impressions, visual documentation, and to provoke their imaginations for a vast and immersive drawing that will cover the walls at Open Space.

During July and August, Open Space will transform into a space of flux and metamorphosis, mapping the tension between what is abundant and what is endangered, what is real and what is imagined, what is untempered contrasted with the effects of human  interruption. Animals, their habitats, and plant life will all be met with fantasty, and live in a newly imagined space.

You will lose yourself in the immensity of the drawn experience at Open Space. As artist Shane explains: "This shared world is one at the borderlands of wilderness and civilization, the real and the imaginary, deep time and the present".

Open Space will be open during the installation process. Summer hours are 12:00pm to 5:00pm, Tuesday-Saturday. Stop by to meet the artists and chat with them during their lunch breaks, from 1:00pm-2:00pm, Tuesday-Saturday.

Artists talk: Sat. Aug. 12, 2017 @ 2pm

Kerry Vaughn Erickson at arc.hive artist run centre

Sunday, July 30, 2017

‘Psychedelia’ by Philip Willey.

Louanne Mah

The dynamic duo, Irma Soltonovich and Efren Quiroz, plus Martin Bachelor, have done it again. This time it’s psychedelia, symbol of the Sixties. A time of great promise or mass hallucination.

Things happened fast in that decade. Beatniks morphed into Hippies at lightning speed helped along by rock music and the sudden availability of drugs. From San Francisco to London young people were turning on, tuning in, and dropping out. Love and Peace was the mantra of the moment and LSD was the key to the universe opening visions of Shangri La. Nothing was real.  

LSD was first made by Albert Hofmann in Switzerland in 1938 from ergot and found to have possibilities as psychiatric medication. The exact mechanism is still not fully understood but it is thought to cause glutamate release in the cerebral cortex i.e. your brain lights up like a pinball machine. The CIA thought it might be useful for mind control and they tested it in the 50s on servicemen and students without their knowledge. Native American mystics had known about peyote for a long time. Aldous Huxley did some mescaline in 1954 and wrote ‘The Doors Of Perception’ based on his experience but it wasn’t until the 1960s that LSD somehow found its way into the counterculture where it proved immensely popular.

Tripping had a spiritual dimension in the beginning. There was an innocence to it. Trips could be good or bad depending on the mental state of the tripper and the quality of the product (stay away from the brown acid). It opened the doors to another world. Some of us thought we could fly. Owsley Stanley, who made the first big batch of acid, was a man on a mission. Timothy Leary, a psychology professor at Harvard, was a big influence. President Nixon called him ‘the most dangerous man in America’.  Did the Love Generation represent a sea change or was it just media hype? We still aren’t sure.  It certainly broke down a lot of barriers.

Philip Wiley 

San Francisco had Flower Power which was partly a reaction to the Vietnam War. In London it took off mainly in the form of fashion thanks to boutiques and a proliferation of young designers like Ossie Clark.Image became important. As the underground got absorbed into the mainstream Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull became the new pop royalty. Beautiful people were everywhere.

It only lasted a few years. There was the Summer of  Love, Haight Ashbury, the Sergeant Pepper album in June of 67 all culminating for many with Woodstock in 69. There was also Altamont (something very funny happens when we start that number), Manson,hard drugs, kids, jobs, mortgages.  Sixties turned into Seventies. The Rutles put the lid on it with ‘All You Need Is Cash’. But the memories linger and there seems to be nostalgia for the period whether you were there or not.

Nowadays it’s seen as a period of non-stop sex, drugs and rock and roll and it’s starting to fade into myth like Camelot. Those who actually lived through it, as a few of us older folks did, all have our own memories and perspectives, often quite blurry. For some it was a social revolution for others it was unbridled hedonism. Maybe it was a bit of both.

Psychedelic art took several forms. It first appeared as kaleidoscopic mandalas designed for looking at while stoned. Or you could just watch your own hands pulsating. There were album sleeves and head comics (who can forget Robert Crumb’s Mr. Natural and Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers?) but it’s the posters that stick in the mind. These were made up of brightly coloured shapes and letters that emulated the visual effects of LSD, often advertising happenings or events. They have become icons of the Sixties and they have obviously inspired a lot of participants in ‘Psychedelia’.

Barry Herring

75 artists submitted work to the show so there’s a wide variety of responses and a lot to take in. Some are obviously into the music, some like the art and some clearly enjoy the hallucinogens. So maybe times haven’t changed that much.Who knows…. perhaps some of the participants were being happily conceived around that time and what we’re seeing are the aftereffects?  So if you haven’t tripped out lately groove on down to Martin Bachelor Gallery and get your mind blown.

Martin Batchelor gallery 
July 29th–Aug. 17th. 2017 

The Resilience of the People exhibition

The District of Oak Bay in partnership with the Songhees Nation and The Robert Bateman Centre present: 
In 1916 an English visitor by the name of Alice Lisle spent a year in Oak Bay staying with friends at the Oak Bay Boat House.  During her visit she took photographs of Songhees village sites on Discovery and Chatham Islands and of First Nation entrepreneurs and residents around the harbour of Victoria. 
In 2016, the Songhees Nation and Robert Bateman Centre worked together to incorporate these rare photographs in an exhibit called Resilience of the People: A Visual History of the Traditional Territory of the Lekwungen/Songhees People. This exciting exhibit is now on display at the Oak Bay Municipal Hall, August 1 to 31st, 2017.
The exhibit covers a visual history of what is now Greater Victoria, the Songhees First Nation’s traditional territory. Visitors will discover the complexities of the lands around them, and witness how the Songhees’ resilient relationship to the conditions of their ancestral lands has changed, including how their relationship has developed up to the present day.
The exhibit is open from August 1 to August 31, 2017 at the Oak Bay Municipal Hall, Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm
The exhibit will also be open during the Oak Bay Night Market on Wednesday, August 9th 4-8pm and on Saturday, August 19th 10am-4pm to celebrate Oak Bay’s Arts & Culture Week.  
Free admission.