This Friday from 7 p.m., the Comox Valley Art Gallery opens three new exhibits — A Releasing Breath, Always and Forever and The Significant Dream Project, which explore life, dreams, religion, breath and death.
Everyone is invited to attend this celebratory reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Artists will be in attendance and refreshments will be served. These exhibits will run from Sept. 17 to Nov. 5 during regular gallery hours.
In the main gallery, A Releasing Breath features the artwork of Sara Vipond (Hornby Island) and Joël D. (Cortes Island). This show examines the physical, visceral and liminal qualities of life/death of the human body.
A series of ceramic sculptural abstractions of human/animal body parts and delicate translucent drawings questions the connection, or lack thereof, of life and the beyond. Joël D.’s ceramic sculpture echo the shapes of internal organs and muscle tissue, appearing to be parts from science fiction cyborgs.
Some of them are finished in pale colours, lending a ghostly yet institutional feeling to the work. Vipond’s work is comprised of prints and drawings that use the language of medical illustration to infuse the human action of breathing with lyrical and ethereal qualities.
Together the pieces weave an experience of the space between body and breath; what can be touched and what cannot.
Vipond holds a BFA from University of Toronto and an MFA from York University and is a visual art instructor for North Island College and Emily Carr University. She will give an art talk to discuss the works in this show on Sept. 24 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the CVAG.
Joël D. has a Visual Arts Diploma from Centennial College, Ontario and studied at Alberta College of Art, completing a BFA at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
The Arts and Crafts Gallery features Always and Forever, artwork by artist Robert James (Courtenay), who goes by the moniker YARTYS. His exhibit of Old World European reliquary chests, crosses, mirrors and sculpture will be on display only until Sept. 28.
His works are created in his Comox Valley studio/workshop using a variety of woods and found objects. These pieces are inspired by his travels to cathedrals, churches, shrines, and museums throughout Europe and South America.
He has a Diploma in Architecture, Bachelor Degrees in Industrial/ Technology Education and Visual Arts and has taught at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; North Island College; and various Alberta and B.C. high schools as well as Japan & Korea.
The Significant Dream Project, taking place in the George Sawchuk Gallery and organized by Cathy Stoyko (Cumberland) brings approximately 80 artists from around the globe, whom have sent in a total of about 100 dream-based artworks.
Along with postcard sized art, there are also two dream-related zines and an incredible collage.
Stoyko says, “One of the interesting observations I have made after seeing all of the art work people have sent is the honesty in dreams. It is one of the beautiful things about dreaming, our ego isn’t involved in the same way. Another inspiring aspect about dreams is that anything is possible and that is a good reminder to carry over into our waking lives, the surrealist know this well.”
Stoyko operated The Abbey Gallery in Cumberland from 2004-7. For the past 15 years she’s been active in the local arts community as an artist, dancer, choreographer, mask maker, costume designer, event organizer/producer and curator. She also organizes collaborative and correspondence art projects and cabaret/performance art events.
The Comox Valley Art Gallery is located at 580 Duncan Ave. in the old Firehall. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday. For more information, phone 250-338-6211, visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com or find us on Facebook.
— Comox Valley Art Gallery