Rare Birds and Strange Bedfellows

I have been working like a maniac and eating sardines like there’s no tomorrow. WHY?

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The following is my artist’s statement:

I know the following things laid side by side are responsible for this fleet of boats/altars/windows.

A young man casually pulls out his folding fan on a stifling train ride between Rome and Naples.

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Maltese fishing boat
Tiny blue fishing boats in earnest blues and gothic arches moored at a Maltese wharf look like altars–windows to another world. Walls of ornate glass boxed reliquaries in a lonely Sicilian monastery contain beautified bits of saints. My own mementos are burned on the bonfire of an ex.

Obviously I was traveling recently. And when traveling, one tends to use whatever material is at hand for art-making and I guess I ate more than my share of canned fish. The tins make wonderful frames and with their allusions to things silvery and densely packed, they have since become natural containers for my art. These boats are packages of valuable stuff saved, compressed; precious and endangered things folded in on themselves and packed like sardines. They allude to survival by migration, physical and spiritual journeys, they can be seen as symbols of the Church, they are scoopfuls of water baled out of a larger boat, they are bottled messages thrown out to sea. They are short prayers, poetic as packed suitcases. They are reliquaries. In a sense they are the result of an artist residency I took part in on that same trip near Naples Italy. When I returned home, I folded the drawings I did during that month into tiny accordions until they fit into sardine cans. Beside them are folded watercolour paintings and linoleum prints, remnants of recipes. The glass boat shape goes on last and encapsulates these strange bedfellows.

 

It is my pleasure to share this show at the David Kaye Gallery with my good friend, neighbour and extraordinary ceramic artist, Ann Cummings: 

ANN CUMMINGS: “This body of new work was inspired by my admiration of an 18th century Derby porcelain that I saw at the Gardiner Museum, Toronto and then subsequently many more pieces at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England. The Derby works, to my mind, are delightfully charming and rather frivolous. I felt a kinship with those works and they proved to be a vehicle for the direction that I was compelled to follow.
My works are imagined landscapes. They represent both my joy and delight in nature and also my sorrow, grief and fear for the ongoing destruction of our environment. These are assemblages of chaos and a warning to take care of the land. My sculptural works are also an homage to my dearly departed husband and ultimately to the landscape that we found together where we loved and lived.
I feel there is a strange beauty all around me and yet conversely there is uncertainty and a disarray of the natural landscape with the possibility of its demise. This dichotomy of nature and my surrounding landscape are two opposing sides of beauty and wonder, as well as fear and destruction, that all makes for strange bedfellows.”

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Safe Landing, Cold Feet

Cat Falling: Step One: Terror

Tomorrow (Sunday June 7) is my opening for “The Tornado that Turned into a Cat.” Oshawa McLaughlin Gallery, 12-4, downstairs in Gallery A. 18Today I try to figure out what to say in my talk. It will probably consist of what I have written in the last few weeks in this blog. I have put a lot of effort into this show and I admit some trepidation. Please join me tomorrow. My talk is scheduled for 1:30 but it can be avoided if you just want to come to the opening. (Give yourself a little extra time to skirt around Oshawa road closures). The show continues to June 21st. Don’t miss it!

Cat Falling: Step One: Terror
Cat Falling: Step One: Terror

Come to my show!

Storm factory

Well, tomorrow I start setting up my show called “The Tornado that Turned into a Cat” in Gallery A in the root cellar of the McLaughlin Gallery. The show follows the evolution of the metaphor as I have tried to explain in the three previous blog entries. Here is an invitation:

Correctedmafu2015This is a gallery within a gallery: an artist initiated gallery within the larger public gallery. Any sales go directly through the artists and are not handled by the gallery so please contact me at LynneMcilvride@icloud.com if you have any questions.

If I get my act together (I am VERY tired), I will take a few pictures of the installation. More importantly, I will post a price list online as a blog entry and leave the URL at the gallery. There will be price lists there too but people accidentally take them.

I hope you will come. I am excited about the show. There are a few loose ends. There is a short looped movie my brother and I did. I would like to incorporate that into the show but am not sure how. There will also be a kind of a book that is a cross between a catalogue and a collaged artist’s book. I haven’t really done that yet. Good night.

Storm factory
Storm factory

Lynne McIlvride

13.LookNoHandsLynne12. DisasterWaitingToHappen

Who am I and how did I get here? I have asked myself that question many times in the last two years. My name is Lynne Mcilvride. I have been an artist ever since I remember. I find speaking awkward: my first language is colour. (It’s a good line that has served me well.) A little background to explain tornados and cats: I have a new studio. No, let me back up. I had an old studio in a farmhouse and an old marriage in that same house. I was happy there until I was dumped like a dog out of a moving vehicle. I grieved. I was kept sane by my friends, my faith and my art. For those of you who have followed my work, you will not be surprised by what happened next: I kept painting using new metaphors. My art has always been personal, autobiographical, symbolic, expressive. A tornado soon appeared in a dream and it started a huge series that has not completely spun out. Here is my artist statement I have reused a few times:

Spin

Weather is such a powerful metaphor for human emotion. And that writhing weather monster, the tornado, is a particularly apt way of describing the trauma, the fury, the intensity of loss. It’s hard not to take a tornado personally: it gets to the point by narrowing down and strikes a specific spot. It comes out of the blue. We don’t know what hit us. We are caught in a whirlwind of emotion. Everything is up in the air. There is no emergency plan for these twists of fate.

To put a positive spin on it, a tornado (that snaking shape-shifter) is just energy. It makes a long-winded metaphor that lasts and lasts because it wrecks and then absorbs whatever it touches down on. What starts out as an emblem of emotional devastation contorts into an expression of fury and then is reborn as a metaphor for unstoppable creativity, play, and passion. Like the flowering cross, can it become a cornucopia? Blooming tornados! Elijah goes to heaven, Dorothy goes to Oz, one thing for certain is we are pulled out of our orbit and dropped in a different place, undone.