click here for other opening images

click here for more installation images
Original and intense, Wax Mannequin, performs at the opening

Ice Storm hits Hamilton

Ice Storm depicts a gentle landscape rolling slowly from cornfields on the west to the lake on the east. In its midst and threatening to overwhelm you, me, the gallery, is an oversize, baroque avalanche. Here it comes barrelling along. It's taken out a gallery wall and it's heading towards some buildings by the lake. I guess they would be the nuclear power plant.

What should we do? What can we do?

When the viewer is alone in the gallery they will be standing in the path of the avalanche perhaps imagining what it would be like to feel the concentration of attention that having seconds left to live gives a person. I'd like to propose a communal response. In the face of catastrophe, I would like to suggest tap dancing, comedy sketches, country and western music, opera. Are you a puppeteer? Bring your puppets. There is room for everyone to get up and perform as if it was the last time. The open mic is waiting for you and the speakers on the street will broadcast your last words to anyone willing to listen. Maybe this is how we should always live.

We know disasters happen and we can't control that. We can, however, try to control how we respond.The series as a whole revisits disasters and tries each time to show courage - at least in the imagination - our first and sometimes our only defense.

Hamilton artist Mark Byk will be showing concurrently in the Member Gallery

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I'd like to thank Antonia Lancaster who took a chance on an earlier version of this project called Avalanche at Offthemap gallery.

Now that the work is installed I'd also like to thank the helpful and energetic people at the Hamilton print shop: Colina, Megan, Mark, Alison, Matt , Julio, Dyan and Erin among others. Thanks to Ingrid
Mayrhofer, the series curator. The Hamilton print shop is a lively, optimistic place with a great future.

This is sounding to me like an oscar acceptance speech, but I also want to thank Assi from Accurate Pleating and Reg from Elke for the paper .