Walk with me ....Centre Clark Montreal, until April 18, 2015

Walk with me moves backward and forward in time, connecting my most vivid visual memories of growing up in Montreal with my current studio practice. Everything is seen in relation to other things, through other things and sometimes half hidden under something. It is a continually developing work, whose making is  a fluid process that learns from itself  like a feedback loop.  

Walk with me builds on an accumulation of people and things :  Borduas, Riopelle, Pellan, Molinari's ink drawings, the Main, red and silver rooves, winter, the river, the forests in winter, the forests in autumn, birch trees, church steeples, the cross on the mountain, stained glass, my family together.  All slide easily into my print and sculpture studio work and emerge from an incremental additive process that moves toward complex recollected sensations.  Like a net cast over different elements, thread, rope and wire combine to hold these past and present components in a delicate tension, presenting an abstracted self- portrait, as well as a view of Quebec from afar, but close to the heart of an Anglophone who left.

In the ongoing debate about the place and role of non-Francophones in Quebec, I am considering what Quebec means to  English-speaking artist.  Interconnection is a metaphor embodied in a network of cords and rods that bind and link discrete elements, while providing structural integrity to the work. More connection points provide more support and allow greater, and increasing, complexity.

It relates to my interest in humane and complex social relationships in a precarious world  and our willingness to  consider our responsibilities to ourselves and to each other.  Walk with me brings together many of these ideas: going for a walk in the woods;  recalling the fields and forests where we ran wild as children; being observed by someone else while going for the walk; my reading of Riopelle's paintings as landscape and, particularly, impenetrable landscape; underbrush;  no vantage point of convergence to us and from us; cultural impositions on the environment; space in a painting; space in an installation;  our desire for a destination and a place to sit down;  our desire for structure; the difficult excitement of complexity; a paradox - coming closer by moving away; the need for a lived  experience of complexity, like going for a walk in an installation, or going for a walk in the woods.  

Initial impressions of single objects dissolve into a revelation of intense detail that holds structure and components in tension, pressing on the limits of coherence as if moving deeper into a forest of memories and then emerging together to a new shared compression of experience that is art.

Thanks to the Clark team for all their help and for their consideration in extending the show for the Papier fair:
Manon, Roxanne, Claudine, Corine, and Peter

Thank you also to the Ontario Arts Council for their exhibition assistance

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