Ruffle (with blue): Installation by Anna Danylchuk
In the artworld, Anna Danylchuk’s “Ruffle (with Blue)” is known as an “intervention”. Aiming to make a specific commentary on a specific site, interventions also enliven their surroundings by the use of strategies of dissonance—works are meant to clash with their environment. “Ruffle (with Blue)” re-enchants the café and store building that, through habit, we no longer see as a conglomeration of visual elements; contemplation is triggered anew. The eyes are, so to speak, cleansed by “Ruffle (with Blue)”. Issues of gender are also significant here: the ruffle is the emphatic and insistent result of women’s labor given visual expression in the play and color of fabrics. During the labour-intensive process of fabrication, the artist felt concern for women in the Third World sewing in sweatshops and factories. However, Anna Danylchuk’s “Ruffle (with Blue)” is an exemplar of un-alienated labour. It also makes manifest an explosive Baroque aesthetics of folds—rhythms of “enfolding” and “unfolding” fabrics (to borrow from Laura U. Marks) resound. —Jean-François Renaud
Saturna is an island of resourceful, enterprising, energetic, practical people…and some dreamers and artists. To some it may be amusing to some to see a fragile feminine frill around a concrete foundation.To others it may be too incongruous for comment.This corner of Saturna is a place where people meet and talk.This café and store are a gift to the island from its community-minded creators, Jon and Priscilla.This is where so many conversations have happened over many years.
“Ruffle with Blue” is here to add to that conversation. I think of “Ruffle with Blue” as women’s graffiti, women’s guerrilla art.Some people don’t want graffiti and insist it be removed, some want it to stay. “Ruffle with Blue” is not permanent, it’s not built to last. Mostly it’s ephemeral…it was magic to have all this fly-away floating fabric to create a winding design—adorned with the flowers made from satin sheets from Chez ViVi aka Value Village in Victoria.“Ruffle with Blue” can hold more flowers…if there is a flower, a small ornament you would like to add, please do.
I believe in imagination and enchantment and re-invention… and so dedicate “Ruffle with Blue” to the memory of my Mother.
In a Classical Manner: Paintings by Arnold Wicht
These photos are peachy as the walls are peachy; Tom’s pants are peachy; the faces are peachy; the late afternoon sun is peachy, so there we have it…. classical peachy. Enjoy.
Arnold’s Wicht’s work raises an interesting question: Why paint in a classical manner now? A classical approach to painting comprises very tight brushwork; naturalism; controlled, if not theatrical, lighting; perspective; studied composition; and subject matter including, amongst others, still-lives, landscape, and portraiture. Classical still-lives abound in seventeenth-century Dutch art. The paintings of Arnold Wicht, exhibited here, constitute an homage to such Dutch masters as Wilhelm Kalf (1619-1693) and Anna Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). However, the dialogue that Arnold Wicht instigates with the tradition of still-lives is complex and multi-layered—verisimilitude is in question. We are now accustomed to seamless images of the World produced by such mechanical means of reproduction as photography, film, video, and digital media. We are also, according to French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, so overwhelmed by images that they have become meaningless. Here, Arnold Wicht’s paintings are especially powerful: they reclaim the realism of the ubiquitous contemporary image through the use of specialized labor in art—the display of manual, expert craft. Fleeting images become grounded again disrupting our current perceptual habits; we are habituated to seeing in mechanical media the level of precision displayed in these paintings. The practice of associating high realism with extensive manual labour has almost been lost. In renewing with sustained, grounded contemplation, the paintings of Arnold Wicht are, in final analysis, reassuring. They encourage us to bask in the pleasures of an unlimited, lasting encounter with tangible visual form.