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Indepth Arts News:

"Four Diverse Exhibitions open Today"
2002-09-20 until 2002-11-03
Harbourfront Cenrtre
Toronto, ON, CA Canada

Harbourfront Centre launches into the fall with stimulating visual arts exhibitions. York Quay Gallery presents The Tree Museum Collective: An Alternate Site, an exhibition in which artists‚ complex relationship with nature as both theme and material is a consistent influence. Uncommon Objects showcases The Purse, a celebration of that oh-so-chic fashion necessity˜the handbag. Kinematics features objects which move, pulsate, flicker or expand in Case Studies. Summit of the Americas, Quebec 2001 at The Photo Passage highlights the spontaneous protests by the public.

York Quay Gallery presents The Tree Museum Collective: An Alternate Site, featuring installations in a variety of media including video, photography, drawing and three-dimensional work. Photographic documentation of the installations at the Collective‚'s permanent Gravenhurst site is also presented to illustrate the groups' activity since its inception in 1998.

Participating artists: Isaac Applebaum, Jocelyne Belcourt Salem, J. Lynn Campbell, Wilson Chik Wai Chi, Ellen Dijkstra, Dieter Hastenteufel, Francis LeBouthillier, E.J. Lightman, Gwen MacGregor, Anne O'Callaghan, Janice Pomer, Barry Prophet, Reinhard Reitzenstein, Lyla Rye, Tim Whiten, Robert Wiens and Badanna Zack.

The Tree Museum, located near Gravenhurst, Ontario, is an outdoor gallery of site- specific sculptures established to support and promote contemporary art. The Tree Museum provides the community with free access to a museum without walls and is an environmental synthesis of innovative art and landscape. Visitors can wander along the paths of this outdoor gallery and explore the hidden artworks produced for this remote site, deep in the forest of the pre-Cambrian shield.

Case Studies features Kinematics, the work of eight artists who all have an interest in kinetic art. Their pieces display old technologies and new technologies and illustrate the science project and the artist as inventor. Curated by Patrick Macaulay. Participating artists: Doug Back, Michael Buchanan, Peter Gazendam, Lee Goreas, Jen Hamilton, Gordon Hicks, Marla Hlady and Devon Knowles.

Uncommon Objects showcases The Purse, a celebration and reinterpretation by eight artists and designers of the handbag. As an object of desire and utility with hidden and often mysterious depths, the individual handbag is undergoing a resurgence in a myriad of styles, materials, and meaning.

The individual perspectives of Barbara Klunder, Lisa Leahey-McIsaac, Rachel MacHenry, Reba Plummer of Push the Envelope, Annie Thompson of Annie Thompson Studio, Nicole Van Der Oord of Fleurtje Bags, Joy Walker of Work Textiles and Kathryn Walter of FELT illustrate what role and shape the purse is taking at the start of the 21st century.

Many artistic movements, trends and political upheavals over the past 100 years, have strongly influenced the look of the purse. The beaded evening bags adored by carefree flappers of the 20s were inspired by Art Deco, jazz and the far east; the utilitarian, pared down military-looking canvas and leather bags appeared during WWII; commodious catch-alls inspired by camping gear, bike-courier and messenger bags were carried by women (and men) during the latter part of the 20th century and today. The purse still defines occupation for both women and men and expresses numerous personal styles encompassing high-end fashion, one-off art creations, working-bags and street savvy cool. Curated by Melanie Egan.

The Photo Passage presents Summit of the Americas, Quebec 2001, an exhibition from a photo collective featuring Benoit Aquin, David Barker Maltby, Ethan Eisenberg, Jennifer Gauthier, Laurent Guerin, Jean-Francois Leblanc, Jo-Anne Macarthur, Goran Petkovski, Peter Sibbald, David Smiley and Larry Towell. Organized by Ruth Kaplan.

Following the end of the Summit of the Americas, this group of photographers from French and English Canada assembled their work to provide an alternative description of an event more narrowly covered by the mainstream media. Focussing on the spontaneous public protests, this exhibition attempts to give a street-level perspective of a gathering unique in recent history.

The Summit of the Americas in April 2001 was a meeting of leaders from thirty-four countries to discuss globalization strategies and the establishment of an expanded free-trade zone throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In the wake of public reaction to similar events in recent years, the organizers chose to erect a barricade encircling much of old Quebec City. Viewed by some as a symbolic barrier to democratic process, the fence became a magnet and focal point for a variety of dissenting individuals, collectively labelled protesters, who converged on Quebec in order to express certain dissatisfactions with the closed nature of negotiations.

Anne O'Callaghan
at The Tree Museum Collective

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