The title may be Recurrence, but the ideas presented by three exploratory artists in a Comox Valley Community Arts Council show have not come up before.
Rather, the focus of the show, opening Aug. 5 in the Muir Gallery, is entirely original and thought-provoking.
“Recurrence is central to our lives, from our daily chores to our religious rites,” says artist Elizabeth Borsato. “Repetition builds structure, comfort and unity, but also blinds us to the things we see and do most often.
“In everyday life, we witness the miraculous without seeing the miracle, the horrendous without seeing the horror. We repeat the previous day’s actions, often without considering if there might be another way.”
The opening is expected to prompt an evening of lively conversation at the CVCAC’s Muir Gallery. The three artists, Borsato, Jenna Chalmer and Megan Goodacre, have interpreted the concept of recurrence in society through ceramics, painting, and printmaking.
“Art should ask the questions that matter to all of us — the questions that we forget to ask ourselves when our lives get too filled with the mundane,” says Chalmer.
Through their art, each of the three artists considers a different aspect of recurrence, presenting the question to the viewer in different ways rather than trying to answer it.
Drawing in a mixture of ink and coffee, Borsato presents the ceremonies that are close to home.
“I wanted to explore the idea of the daily grind — of the rituals and ceremonies that we perform every day that we do not perhaps perceive as significant, but that really do define us in some way,” she says. “I think that we need to stop and ask ourselves, ‘Why? Why is this the way we do things?’ ”
Goodacre’s work examines the role of mass media in portraying disaster and how we react to that portrayal.
“We are inundated by images of death and chaos, but we continue with our everyday rituals,” Goodacre says. “My work combines iconic images of destruction with pictures of everyday moments.”
Recurrence and repetition are central to most religious ceremonies. Chalmer’s approach is inspired by elaborate and often misunderstood religious ceremonies. She has approached the theme of recurrence from a spiritual plane, attempting to express the significance of ceremony and ritual as well as the perceptions of those who do not understand and ostrasize these sacred rituals.
Admission to Recurrence is free, but donations to the gallery are gratefully accepted. The opening begins at 7:30 p.m. Snacks and a cash bar will be available.
The Muir Gallery is at 440 Anderton Ave. in Courtenay, near the west end of the Fifth Street bridge. The show will remain at the gallery until Sept. 10.
— Comox Valley Community Arts Council