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Last Call, Last Call…

Last Call for Three Summer Exhibitions at CCAG

With ‘Secret Citadel’ closing, Graeme Patterson to lead ArtTalk and Tour Sunday, September 25 at 2 p.m.

It’s closing time for three visual art exhibitions that have been turning heads all summer at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. This month is the last chance to view works from Graeme Patterson, Landon Mackenzie, and Gwen Michaud.

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Showing until September 25 in the Upper and Lower East Galleries, Graeme Patterson: Secret Citadel explores the trials and tribulations of male friendship through a four part sculptural/video installation and an experimental animated narrative. Based in Sackville, New Brunswick, Patterson works in miniatures, using tiny figures in stop-motion to explore much bigger themes and stories. Although based on specific memories of the artist’s past, Secret Citadel draws you into its captivating worlds by highlighting universal themes of love and loss, play and competition, companionship and loneliness.

Patterson will lead an ArtTalk and public tour through his exhibition this Sunday September 25 at 2 p.m. in the Art Gallery. There is no cost to attend and all are welcome to hear this first-hand account of how the touring exhibition came to life from one of Canada’s most exciting young artists.

B.C.’s Landon Mackenzie is a nationally-known Canadian artist, admired for her large-scale works using paint on canvas. Less widely known are her works on paper, which she produces in high numbers as a tandem practice to her larger paintings, often while travelling. Showing in the Upper West Gallery until September 25, Landon Mackenzie: Parallel Journey: Works on Paper (1975-2015) takes the viewer on a journey through the past four decades of Mackenzie’s art production on paper, beginning with a watercolour the artist painted when she was 14 years old, and concluding in the year 2015.

Showing in the Centre’s concourse cases until October 2 is Gwen Fichaud: Arranging the Local. This exhibition provides an overview of the work of Fichaud (1915-1988). Born in Montreal, Fichaud took up painting full time in 1964, a few years after moving to P.E.I, where she became an early supporter of the Centre and chair of the Women’s Committee. She was immediately taken with Island history and the pastoral landscape, and her work ranged from country scenes to studies of flora and fauna, to images of local community. Her work was always focused on carefully arranged details, presenting facts and anecdotes about the Island way of life and its natural setting. The high horizons and ordered compositions of the artist’s images allow a maximum of visual information to be brought together within a single frame.

“The great variety of characters, colours, activities, and incidents in Fichaud’s crowd scenes are tightly organized and brought together into an ordered whole that mirrors her vision of community,” remarks Pan Wendt, gallery curator. “Made by an urban settler impressed by the apparent naturalness and harmony of Island life, these works articulate an ideal rural Prince Edward Island.”

Stop Start Secret Citadel

Opening this month at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery is a traveling exhibition from one of Canada’s most exciting young artists. Graeme Patterson: Secret Citadel explores the trials and tribulations of male friendship through a four part sculptural/video installation and an experimental stop-motion animated narrative.

image009

Based in Sackville, New Brunswick, Patterson works in miniatures, using tiny figures to explore much bigger themes and stories. Although based on specific memories of the artist’s past, Secret Citadel draws you into its captivating worlds by highlighting universal themes of love and loss, play and competition, companionship and loneliness.

An anthropomorphized bison and cougar represent two boys in the artist’s visual coming-of-age tale that is as playful as it is poignant. Mountain begins their journey. This large wooden and fabric-covered mound connects Patterson’s and his friend’s miniature suburban homes, replicated with 1980s décor. The viewer can peek into the mountain to witness the boys’ creative meeting space. Their camaraderie continues in Camp Wakonda, two life-sized bunk beds with miniatures showing the boys playing games, chopping wood, and burning toys. Yet this childlike world is nuanced by the memory of a school bus crash and an archery match that ends in a fantasized death, hinting at the rivalry to come in adolescence.

Grudge Match overtly shows the competitive nature of teenage boys through a miniature wrestling match, locker room, and gym tucked beneath life-sized bleachers. The last sculptural piece, Player Piano Waltz, is an upright working piano that plays a haunting melody for a lone. Through the windows, the viewer glimpses different vignettes of these now estranged friends in adulthood: riding an elevator, sitting in a bar alone, recalling the old days. Devastating yet beautiful, this last piece mourns the end of two friends and the isolated worlds of adulthood.

Patterson’s many accomplishments include being shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, and two nationally touring exhibitions. Co-curated by Melissa Bennett and Sarah Fillmore, Secret Citadel is on tour from the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

The exhibition opens June 11 and shows until September 25, 2016. Patterson will be present and provide remarks at the Art Gallery’s Opening Gala for the Summer Exhibitions, which takes place Saturday June 18 at 7 p.m. at Confederation Centre.