Mind the Gap!

13 May 2011

Mind the Gap!Mind the Gap!
Exhibition Curated by: Amanda Cachia and Jeff Nye
Published by Dunlop Art Gallery
Review by Kris Brandhagen
$30 ISBN:978-1-894882-35-4

Mind the Gap! is an exhibition catalogue for a group show of the same name, co-curated by Amanda Cachia, then Gallery Director, and Jeff Nye, Assistant Director of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. This exhibition displayed “contemporary visual art by 30 artists, including a three-person collective, from 13 cities and towns” in Saskatchewan. In her introduction, Cachia explains that the title, Mind the Gap! is a misguided term that refers to Saskatchewan as “the gap in Canada’s consciousness and geo-cultural landscape”. It is a good book that I am happy to have in my library.

Nye’s essay, “Maps, Gaps, & Intersections: Navigating Saskatchewan” attends to some of the topics that affect artists in this province and their works, such as: the lay of the land, disease and the body, living traditions, environmental interruptions, and contemporary social and visual media. This catalogue also embraces the literary arts, including non-fiction and poetry inspired by Saskatchewan highways. “Looking for Tamra Keepness Along the Number 1” by Carle Steel was the most enjoyable personal essay I have read for a while. From the social to the romantic, it is about being a human in the prairies, and about being concerned about a local disappearance.

Erin Gee’s video, titled Feedback, of her two selves singing plays with the idea of twins, two sides, and loneliness. Also a dialogue about the ‘self’ and the ‘other,’ it has a beautiful, whimsical darkness. I was also taken with Tim Moore’s paintings, “Warning I Know Judo”, and “Falling Indian” that feature figures in action, which appear to explore ideas of the power and weakness. They are so layered—I would love to know more. Surreal, about fighting and falling, these works have a precarious energy to them.

Though the curators could not include every emerging artist in the province, this catalogue provides a good introduction to Saskatchewan’s visual artists, as well as introductions to some writers. This exhibition is meant to point out, not only to others, but also to ourselves, that we have a thriving art community here in Saskatchewan. With its debut on October 23, 2009, the exhibition Mind the Gap! tours throughout Saskatchewan art galleries in Swift Current, Prince Albert, Estevan, and Moose Jaw in 2011, and North Battleford in 2012.


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