This is the last week to catch two distinct exhibitions running at the Cape Breton University Art Gallery. The first, Northern Exposure is a selection of contemporary Inuit Art from the Gallery’s Permanent Collection. The second, Comfort and Connections, is a series of sculptural and photographic works by artists, and cancer survivors, Carolyn Ritchie Bedford and Irene Boudreau.
Northern Exposure: Contemporary Inuit Art explores the rich diversity of art making by contemporary Inuit artists. The exhibition showcases a variety of works in a wide range of mediums including drawing, lithography, stone cut and stencil prints, sculptures carved from stone and whale bone, and paintings in oil, acrylic, and watercolour.
“Since the establishment of art making as a staple in contemporary Inuit life, Inuit artists have continually moved audiences with their profound artistry, bold imagination, and unique approach to subject matter.” – Contemporary Inuit Art: An Introduction
This exhibition has easily succeeded in showcasing the diversity of Inuit Art and the flexibility and skill of Inuit Artists. Exploring a variety of subjects, each selection of work is accompanied by information supplying the viewer with historical and cultural context and artists’ insight.
Images of hunting inventory, camp life, animals and animal spirits, hunting scenes, breath taking landscapes, and creative explorations and expressions of Inuit history, lore, and cultural identity make Northern Exposure: Contemporary Inuit art a dynamic and thought provoking exhibition well worth taking in.
In Comfort and Connections two Port Hawkesbury artists and cancer survivors examine the process of healing.
Carolyn Ritchie Bedford’s collection of sculptures are both grotesque and wildly beautiful; soft faces and gentle hands emerge from writhing and blanketed forms of clay.
“Drawing a parallel to nature’s changing mood and people’s individual nature continues to influence the figurative choice in clay to comment on human condition or beauty of form” – Ritchie Bedford’s bio.
Her sculptures have a feeling of anxiety, claustrophobia, and an overwhelming sense of urgency. At the same time the faces, figures, and limbs protruding from beneath the smooth glazed folds of clay are soft and welcoming, creating feelings of comfort and physical closeness.
Irene Boudreau’s photographs of flowers are a colourful and vibrant celebration of life. Close up and still, the viewer is able to appreciate the subtle details of each unique blossom.
Comfort and Connections is a visually stimulating and spiritually uplifting celebration of life.
Both exhibitions run until July 30th.