Visit The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency

The public launch and first open house of the historic Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency on August 25, is the result of a campaign by grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Creative Cultural Collaborations (C3) to revive the historic floating cabin at the Plaza of Nations in False Creek. 

The Blue Cabin in North Vancouver
pic: John Ward

Originally built in 1927 as a floating house in Coal Harbour, the Blue Cabin was re-located to North Vancouver for more than 80 years. Artists Al Neil and Carole Itter used the space as a studio from 1966 until their eviction in 2015, when the cabin’s site next to Cates Park was purchased by Polygon Homes. When the structure was scheduled for demolition, grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and C3 led a campaign to save, restore, and re-launch the cabin as a residency. Their success brought in artists Jeremy and Sus Borsos to repair the cabin and salvage its cultural history. In 2018, artist Germaine Koh and architect Marko Simcic were engaged to build a small 500-square-foot deckhouse; the energy-efficient structure features off-the-grid water and power systems.

The August 25 public launch will include the announcement of the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency’s first season of programming as well as tours of the facility, including the interiors of the Blue Cabin studio and the newly constructed sustainable deckhouse, every 15 minutes from 11:30am–5:30pm. Participants will be limited to 20 people per tour and will be first come, first served. Additional open house dates will be announced at the public launch. Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine and Rico n’ Lalo All Natural Frozen Bars will be on-site serving food and refreshments.

Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore features the following artists-in-residence:

  • Vicki Couzens (September 15–October 31, 2019)
  • Angela George (November 15, 2019–January 15, 2020)
  • Skwetsimeltxw Willard “Buddy” Joseph and Chepximiya Siyam Chief Janice George (February 15–March 31, 2020)
  • Debra Sparrow (April 15–May 31, 2020)
The Blue Cabin being relocated from near
Cates Park, North Vancouver
pic: Michael Jackson

The inaugural program Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore examines Coast Salish weaving practices and includes three research and residency periods by Angela George(Squamish/Tsleil-Waututh), Janice George and Buddy Joseph (Squamish), and Debra Sparrow(Musqueam). Australian Indigenous artist and activist Vicki Couzens (Gunditjmara) will be the first international artist-in-residence from September 15–October 31, 2019, presented in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts.

“The Blue Cabin is a culturally and historically significant work of architecture, and its launch in False Creek will encourage both artists and the public to appreciate the many complex histories that make up the community,” says Glenn Alteen, Blue Cabin Committee Member and Program Director of grunt gallery. “The cabin — and the broader region we now call the Lower Mainland — is inextricably linked to the colonial displacement of Indigenous peoples. As a heritage-focused project, one of our core values is to reflect and engage with the stories of the traditional owners of these lands: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Master weaver Buddy Joseph considers weaving a catalyst that entwines language, storytelling, and ceremony; we curated the inaugural program to pay our respects while bringing together diverse publics. As a floating structure, the Blue Cabin provides a new way for artists and the public to look at the city — from the water.”

Rebuilding the Blue Cabin in Dry Dock. pic: Henri Robideau

“We are delighted to support the first Australian artist in the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency program,” says Dr. Wendy Were, Executive Director, Strategic Development and Advocacy at the Australia Council for the Arts. “Vicki Couzens is a First Nations multimedia artist and cultural leader who will share her arts practice and cultural knowledge in a unique and culturally significant location. This prestigious opportunity ensures that Australia’s highly respected First Nations’ arts, culture, and stories continue to be shared with new audiences across the world, and strengthens our deep connections between Australian and Canadian First Nations peoples.”

The public opening of the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency’s first season of programming takes place August 25.  Free tours of the facility, located at Plaza of Nations Aquabus stop, take place every 15 minutes from 11:30am–5:30pm (on a first come, first served basis). 

Visit thebluecabin.ca for more information on the Blue Cabin, partners and residency program. 

Discover Robert Rauschenberg at Vancouver Art Gallery.

Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980
Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980

This summer, the Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist. The presentation features billboard-sized prints, intimate drawings, collages, sculptural works and large-scale fabric constructions from one of the most experimental periods of Rauschenberg’s career.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery is fortunate to count many significant works by important international artists in its permanent collection, and our considerable holdings of Robert Rauschenberg are a highlight,” says Daina Augaitis, Interim Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Rauschenberg’s radical approach to art making blurred the lines between mediums, demonstrating his incredible ingenuity in mixing materials and imagery. We are pleased to share a selection of influential works by this artist, with a focus on his collages and mixed-media pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, many of which paved the way for his own thoughts around art making and inspired others to follow his experimental trajectory.” 

This exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery features a number of significant examples of Rauschenberg’s collages and multi-faceted prints. Such works combine newspaper and magazine clippings, material salvaged from the streets of New York, and his own photographs to create fragmented, layered compositions that unravel the cultural and political milieu of the time. Key works include Autobiography (1968), a monumental three-panel composition from the Gallery’s collection that represents the culmination of the aesthetics and methodologies that occupied Rauschenberg for a decade. The work, which details his biographical history through overlapping self-portraits and objects of personal significance, was the first fine art print made on a billboard press. Another important print is Sky Garden (1969), also from the Gallery’s collection, the largest work in his Stoned Moon series, which emerged from an invitation by NASA to witness the launch of the Apollo 11 Mission. Also included are examples of work Rauschenberg produced after relocating to Captiva Island, Florida, in 1971, when he began to investigate the natural and the handmade, and embrace a more overtly abstract aesthetic, as well as works that use fabric as a support for printed imagery.

See these works and more when Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980 opens July 6th, on show at Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby, until October 27, 2019.

Watch for Blood On The Dancefloor at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Blood On The Dancefloor
photo: Bryony Jackson

Next week, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts welcomes the West Coast premiere of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s Blood on the Dance Floor by Jacob Boehme. Presented by DanceHouse, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, and Talking Stick Festival, Blood on the Dance Floor takes the stage February 6th to 9th.. Rooted in Aboriginal Dance, theatre, and storytelling, this award-winning work, is based on the deeply personal experience of performer Jacob Boehme, a renowned dancer, writer, and choreographer from the Narangga and Kaurna nations of South Australia. Blood on the Dance Floor unapologetically shares Boehme’s emotionally honest story of gay, Blak, and poz identities; and explores the struggle, heartache, and enduring spirit of someone living at the intersection of Aboriginal, queer, and HIV-positive communities.

“This work comes at a landmark moment in the history of HIV. With the increasing availability of preventative medication, HIV transmission rates are decreasing and life expectancy for those with the virus is increasing,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. “However, in both Australia and Canada HIV rates in Indigenous communities are sadly on the rise. Blood on the Dance Floor is a poignant work that shines a powerful and captivating light on the stigma, the discrimination, and the silence that surrounds HIV/AIDS in Indigenous communities. But the work also embraces our need for community, our deepest fears, our secret identities, and what blood means to each of us — questioning how this most precious fluid unites and divides us.”

When Boehme was diagnosed with HIV in 1998, he reached out to his ancestors in search of answers. Blood on the Dance Floor pays homage to Boehme’s ancestors’ ceremonies through a series of vignettes combining video and sound design, choreography, and visceral narrative that transverses time, space, and characters. From a ‘gay elder’ grieving young men lost to disease and despair, to the current culture of hook-ups and casual sex, deeper moments sketched between Boehme and his father will underscore the legacy of racism, homophobia, and shame permeating the work with both personal and cultural history.

Written and performed by Melbourne-based Jacob Boehme, choreographed by Mariaa Randall, and directed by Isaacc Drandic Blood On The Dancefloor runs February 6 – 9, 2019 at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. For more information and tickets visit dancehouse.ca 

Warning: For audience members age 15 and up. Performance includes adult concepts (sexual & drug references), coarse language, and loud music. 

David Wilson brings Water to Kimoto Gallery

Water, water everywhere.  That expression is especially apt here in Vancouver. 

‘While Others Are Sleeping’ acrylic on canvas by David Wilson

In a new series of paintings, Water, coming to the Kimoto Gallery, Vancouver artists David Wilson looks at the natural watery surroundings and rain-soaked city streets of his hometown.  Locals viewing his works will recognize not just familiar streets and harbours of Vancouver but also the glisten of rain reflecting the city.  Water, or fluidity, is a pervasive theme that runs through Wilson’s work.  In many of his paintings, rain-spattered cabs, and slick, reflective streets embrace the idea of our city in the rainforest.

“Rain-soaked city streets evoke something entirely visceral,” Wilson says. “So often you find this in the film industry, which goes to great lengths to recreate that saturated-with-rain aesthetic—and for good reason. Those streets reflect so much of ourselves back at us. It’s like peering in a distorted mirror that reminds us of places we inhabit, both imaginary and real.”

Moving away from abstraction, and using representation as a starting point, Wilson’s new work aligns colour and movement with more realistic depictions of a scene. Smaller and more detailed marks create what appears to be a sharply rendered image but upon closer examination reveals the looseness of the paint. Less interpretation is required, giving the viewer a more immediate and relatable experience.

“The annual precipitation we endure has created a sort of gloomy identity associated with living on the Coast,” Wilson says. “But if one lives here for an extended period of time one can, and often will, develop an affinity for it. The cycle of renewal and growth that we see, as the rain waters the earth and feeds the lakes and rivers, deepens our relationship with the world. The smell of new rain, the scent of the ocean and the fecund soil saturated with moisture inherently tie us to a place that solidifies our identities as West Coasters.”

David Wilson’s exhibition, Water will be on display November 2 – 24, 2018, at the Kimoto Gallery, 1525 W. 6th Avenue, hours Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday 10am – 6pm, Fridays Noon-5pm.

 

Artist David Wilson draws inspiration from Instagram

Vancouver painter David Wilson’s latest exhibition, Interrupting the Interface, opening Thursday at Kimoto Gallery, takes inspiration from today’s most prolific source of images, Instagram.

Wilson’s new series of paintings demonstrates the subtle interface between reality and filtered reality. It’s an important distinction in the age of fake news and doctored images, but also a deeper comment on how the filters of memory or mood inform our everyday perceptions.

Wilson, best known for depicting Vancouver, has turned to Instagram – and to other cities — in building this body of work. “I pulled thousands of wet street scenes from places like New York, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, and London. I was trying to connect that rainy Vancouver aesthetic with these other places, and to focus on commonalities rather than the iconic landmarks of each place.” Similarly Instagram curates diverse images from around the world, bringing places together in the online depository. 

Users of Instagram edit their images by adding filters, in contract to the traditional meaning of a filter, to remove part of it – like when you filter coffee grounds. Wilson says he does “a little of each” when he works up an image. His process is both reductive and expansive, removing elements of realism by adding brushstrokes of paint.  “I’m essentially re-interpreting. It’s my own perception – based on my life experience.”  

See for yourself how the artists interprets the landscape with inspiration of Instagram.
David Wilson “Interrupting the Interface” opens Thursday September 7th and runs until September 30, 2017 at Kimoto Gallery,  1525 West 6th (at Granville).

Fringe Festival 2017 Brings Theatre to Everyone

The 2017 edition of Vancouver Fringe Festival gets underway September 7th inviting everyone to partake in 11 days of theatre.  Since 1985, Vancouver Fringe Festival has celebrated theatre of all kinds.

Uniquely, the Fringe Festival employs an everyone is welcome selection process, drawing the mainstage performance out of a hat. All artists from novice performers to veteran theatre companies,  have the chance to participate, and receive 100% of the box-office revenue during the festival.
Mainstage shows centre around Granville Island at the Revue Stage, Performance Works, and Waterfront Theatre. Other shows in the BYOV (Bring Your Own Venue) category allow artists to stage their performances in unique and different venues.

With more than 100 performances over the 11 days it can be hard to select your personal program so on the evening prior to opening, join The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All, September 6th at 8pm, a two hour performance featuring fast and furious two minute tasters to whet your appetite and help you choose your picks of the Fest.

More than just theatre, Music is part of Fringe at the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar located at Ocean Art Works (outside the Ocean Concrete on Granville Island) offering music performances every night, with no cover.

Vancouver Fringe Festival takes place September 7 – 17, 2017, in various venues around the city.  Explore the Vancouver Fringe Festival guide and book passes and tickets by visiting vancouverfringe.com

 

John Legend – Darkness & Light Tour

John Legend – Rogers Arena – June 1, 2017

June started with an uplifting, soulful evening as John Legend brought his Darkness and Light Tour to Vancouver. The Academy, Grammy, Golden Globe award winner started the show promptly at 8:55pm, rising slowly into the centre of the stage with his piano. As the stage screens shifted to reveal more of the singer, he moved to centre stage to get the audience on their feet as he moved through his set. Joined by his trio of supporting singers, and their perfectly synchronized girl-group choreography, Love Me Now, elevated the energy level early on as the rousing hit prompted an audience sing-a-long and got them moving. Other hits followed; Used to Love You, Like I’m Gonna Lose You, Ordinary People, Who Do We Think We Are were mixed with album tracks, new and old.

A few covers were mixed in to the set too. Telling the story of the birth of his daughter, Luna, John Legend spoke of the special significance of Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly.  Known for his political leanings, Teddy Pendergrass’s Wake Up Everybody fit Legend like a glove, with the lyrics as topical today as in 1975.  A bit of an acapella rendition of the  Beach Boys God Only Knows introduced the final quarter of the nearly 2 hour set.  The tune Slow Dance will forever be memorable for an audience member, Tanya, who was invited onstage to dance with Legend, and stole the set while she was at it. John Legend wrapped up the Darkness and Light Tour stop with the encore tunes, All Of Me and the Oscar winning Glory. The later providing an audience sing-a-long that threatened to block out the singer himself.

John Legend’s Darnkess and Light Tour continues this weekend in Washington State, stopping at Woodenville, WA.  Try to catch the tour if John Legend makes his way to your town.