Nanaimo Art Gallery curatorial technician Stephen Laidlaw hangs a painting by mid-century B.C. artist B.C. Binning, part of the gallery’s new exhibition, The Poetics of Space. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Vancouver Art Gallery show ‘The Poetics of Space’ comes to Nanaimo Art Gallery

Exhibition features work by 25 artists examining the idea of space

The Nanaimo Art Gallery’s latest exhibition is a crowded one, bringing more than two dozen artists under the same roof to examine the concept of space.

The show, The Poetics of Space, is part of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s touring program and from Friday Oct. 26 to Jan. 5 it will inhabit the NAG. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Oct. 25.

The exhibit includes historical and contemporary pieces by 25 artists, mostly Canadian, ranging from the lesser known to the internationally renowned, like Emily Carr and Lawren Harris. An artist talk with painter and Emily Carr University of Art and Design professor Landon Mackenzie will take place at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Nov. 3

NAG curator Jesse Birch said the show fits in well with the gallery’s ongoing thematic inquiry, “How can we speak differently?”

“To me this show is really about the language of space,” he said. “The way that we understand space, the way that space speaks to us and different spaces speak to us in different ways.”

The Poetics of Space features paintings, drawings, video, sculptural and installation pieces, with the works divided into three areas. The first is called Fracturing of Form, which Birch said wrestles with perspective.

“Depicting perspective is something that has been a long-standing focus of artists, but then artists have also fractured perspective and played with perspective and broken it,” he said. ”So this is about that sort of breaking down of perspective and taking away the illusionistic side of perspective and thinking about different ways we can look at perspective through experimental art practices.”

Birch said the next area, Psychic Weight of the Domestic, is about “the intimate spaces that we inhabit and artists responding to those particular places.”

The last part, The Mapping of Space, focuses on “artists who are working with the way that we define and depict space and measure space and how that controls our understandings of it,” Birch said.

He added that presenting the show gives Nanaimo art fans an opportunity to experience the Vancouver Art Gallery without having to travel to the mainland.

“They develop exhibitions that can go to smaller regional centres, meaning that we’re able to see some of the works in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection in our community that we wouldn’t be able to see otherwise,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Opening reception for The Poetics of Space at the Nanaimo Art Gallery on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Show runs until Jan. 5. Artist talk with Landon Mackenzie at the Shaw Auditorium on Nov. 3.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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