Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:42

What Goes Around, Comes Around at the Esplanade Art Gallery

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The Esplanade Art Gallery is proud to present its two new exhibitions until October 4, Rory Mahony’s L O O P and Jason Baerg’s Returning. Public reception with the artists Friday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. and Downtown Artwalk’s Roving Reception for Alberta Culture Days.

Rory Mahony: L O O P
Rory Mahony’s L O O P is a mesmerizing and poetic yet wryly humorous exhibition of photographs and multi-channel video projections with sound. In this new work Mahony presents moving portraits which are mirrored, layered, and changing, to create visually poetic impressions for the viewer. His subjects interact with mirrors, with each other, and also with avian, canine and insect representatives of the natural world. In fact, the immersive video installation Thursday’s Child, is as much a portrait of a complex ‘companion society’ of ravens he encountered on the west coast in 2005, as it is of his human subjects. As Mahony says “part of the fun is our shared biped-ism” and throughout, he leavens seriousness with the wit of the jester, inverting his images, tipping the world on its side, and animating whimsical, cartoon-like drawings overtop of video.
Rory Mahony has exhibited his work throughout Alberta, in British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan, as well as Buffalo, New York, since 1994. His artistic practice has been supported by grants from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Victoria and a Master of Fine Art from the University of Guelph. He lives and works in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where he recently retired from the faculty of Visual Communications, Medicine Hat College, after being awarded the 2013 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas and 2013 Medicine Hat College Instructor of the Year.
Jason Baerg: Returning
Cree Métis artist Jason Baerg combines painting, an ancient means of human art-making, with the most contemporary, computer-generated video, in two recent works, Relations and Nomadic Bounce. In Relations the combination of 13 circular paintings with a video projection is a fitting means for Baerg to explore Indigenous notions of time through the many prophesies echoing from different cultures, such as the Cree, Hopi, Mayan and Tibetan; as well as relationships we have with the Sun, the Moon, the Earth and ourselves. Born in Sarnia, Ontario, Baerg was raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and travels widely for his artistic practice. This roaming lifestyle generated Nomadic Bounce, which Baerg describes as “running to and from everything we love and hate at the same time; from place, from people, returning to the same place and same people.” Each time Baerg installs this large scale set of laser-cut and stretched paintings with video, he creates a new arrangement based on his experience of each new location. For Medicine Hat Baerg combines imagery based on pronghorn antelope and a Kainai WWI calf story robe, with the Aboriginal tradition of the ‘winter count’.
Jason Baerg received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Concordia University and a Graduate Certificate in New Digital Media from George Brown College. He won the Emerging Artist Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (Ontario) in 2008. He has presented his work in many solo and group exhibitions and art events in Australia, Europe and North America. His work has been supported by grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council, and is held in many public and corporate collections internationally.

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