I visited the Peterborough Art Gallery today on a tour arranged by the New Canadian Centre. The Art Gallery is a treasure as is the New Canadian Centre (NCC) which does everything it can to welcome new immigrants, however temporary, to Canada, providing English and French lessons, parenting skills, computer workshops, women’s groups, children’s groups and a myriad of activities. I decided since I hadn’t been to the Art Gallery yet this was an opportunity to go along and I might meet some more interesting people – I chatted with one particularly interesting lady who turned out to be Canadian!
We had an informative tour through three exhibitions, the first featuring Janet Read, A Canadian abstract landscape artist, whose paintings are usually seascapes in vibrant colours – Michael would love them. Then onto the 2014 Calendar project – these are paintings chosen from the Art Gallery’s permanent collection of 1500 for the 2014 Calendar. Of the 1500 piece collection of paintings, drawings, ceramics and sculptures only a few are on display at any one time which seems a shame. There simply isn’t room for them! Of the calendar paintings I particularly liked the huge unfinished re-working of “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by David Bierk, based on the original by Vermeer – as was the book by Tracey Chevalier which was then made into a film with Scarlett Johannsen and Colin Firth – both of which I recommend. David Bierk was an artist based in Peterborough – his studio was near to our apartment, as were many of the Peterborough based artists studios. Peterborough was, and is, quite an artistic community. I also loved a landscape by AY Jackson who was one of the “Group of Seven”, Canadian artists working from 1920 1933 who struck their own style of painting Canadian landscapes and started the first National Canadian Art movement. Onto the current exhibition “New Century Abstracts” – I would have liked to have Lara with me to explain some of these paintings as I find abstract art quite difficult to understand. There was one particular artist, Mazinani, whose work was really interesting. The photo shows what appears to be a Persian rug – a kaleidoscope of colours but if you look carefully you see that it is made of tiny images from the Occupy movement – what happened as a result of all passion? and from the Arab Spring – again, has anything really changed? The point of these images is to show you that if you don’t look closely, you miss the point.
That is enough culture for now – off to David Bowie in Toronto tomorrow!