Like A Great Black Fire | Rebecca Chaperon

Exhibition Title: Like A Great Black Fire | Rebecca Chaperon

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“Like A Great Black Fire”

Exhibition Title: Like a Great Black Fire

Artist: Rebecca Chaperon
Opening: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 7-11pm
Exhibition Dates: Thursday, September 8 – Saturday, October 15, 2011

grunt gallery is pleased to present Rebecca Chaperon’s latest suite of paintings, entitled Like a Great Black Fire. In this series, an elongated and detailed landscape stretches across canvases populated by foreboding, black, geometric forms and meticulously rendered figures. Her current paintings portray the narrative of a female protagonist within a surreal landscape. Chaperon’s subject matter ranges from ethereal and dream-like to darkly humorous; she often deals with the feminine perspective from an autobiographical point of view.

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, Rebecca Chaperon takes the imaginative subjects of her paintings and establishes an ability to engage people by speaking to the enchantment of our human experience. Her paintings act as a means of storytelling, conveying the notion of human struggle in the 21st century. Tempered by references to the synthesized, modern world she combines the classical landscape aesthetics of the past with an aspect of ambient, self-reflective self-portraiture.

Born in England in 1978, Rebecca settled in Toronto, Ontario at age 8. She attended Emily Carr University where she studied fine arts until graduation in 2002. She has exhibited her work across Canada and has been featured in several Canadian publications.

“It’s her laborious attention to detail that draws you in, like that dream you keep trying to fall asleep to catch another glimpse of. You can’t help but be drawn into her invitingly playful painting technique which quietly screams off the canvas.

Like A Great Black Fire is an exciting ten-canvas narrative that brings the viewer through a delightful romantic dream scape and I am nothing short of ecstatic that the Grunt Gallery has chosen to highlight her during this year’s Swarm.” – Sonny Assu

“Somewhere between a Happy Unbirthday and a walk through Dante’s Inferno extinguished, her imagery holds us sway, a storm-soaked storybook where even characters of seemingly incorruptible purity have daggers hiding behind their back. You wonder who these characters are, how they came to arrive and why they’ve been caught in such blighted situations. Each notion within her work asks a question, but the answer remains as to when Rebecca lets go of your hand, if you will find your way back.” – Graeme Berglund

“Certainly her most ambitious work to date, Like a Great Black Fire, is a large, acrylic polyptych panorama featuring a dark and stormy landscape sparsely populated by scurrying ferrets and her signature female protagonists. Chaperon creates powerful females in dainty bodies. The power they possess tends to be painted into their faces, in their eyes and expressions.”  – Todd Nickel, Co-Founder, Gallery Atsui

Watch the artist interview here: 

Taking Care of Business | Immony Men

Exhibition Title: Taking Care of Business | Immony Men

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Exhibition Title: Taking Care of Business
Artist: Immony Men
Exhibition Dates: Sat, July 9, 2011 – Sat, August 6, 2011
Opening: Fri. July 8, 7:30pm
Completion Reception: Tue. July 26, 7:30pm

“Taking Care of Business” is a performance/installation that lasts the run of the exhibition. The performance involves the artist creating a multi-wall, floor-to-ceiling mural of an office space out of post-it-notes. The artist, Immony Men, will spend each day of the exhibition working 9-5 printing out a 360° view of an office one post it note at a time until the main walls of grunt gallery are filled. The artist writes:

“I am mesmerized by the drudgery of daily office routine. The pattern I have established in the creation of these kinds of murals attempts to replicate this drudgery. The performance aspect of my work is the actual construction of the mural. I want the raw elements behind the creation of the project to be in the forefront: the physical space taken up, the artist’s repetitive movements, the materials used in full evidence. By subjecting myself to a mind-numbing process, I will also create and exhibit the mental state fallen into in performing iterative tasks” (Immony Men)

Immony Men is a Canadian visual artist currently based in Montreal and Toronto. He is a recent graduate of the MFA Visual Arts program at University of Windsor. He has completed Concordia’s BFA program majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies within Studio Arts. Immony is a member of the Broken City Lab research group; an initiative that tactically disrupts and engages the city of Windsor.

Watch the artist interview:

Skullduggery | Robert McNealy

Exhibition Title: Skullduggery | Robert McNealy

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Exhibition Title: Skullduggery
Exhibition Dates: Sat, May 28 – Sat, June 25, 2011
Opening: Fri, May 27, 7:30pm
Artist: Robert McNealy

Skullduggery is a painting installation rooted in palio-archaeology and physical anthropology.  The works consist of an installation of many small paintings of skulls taken from the human fossil record painted on wadded pages of art magazines.  The skulls trace the range of human evolution, and the magazine pages, a record of art practices.  Together they express the fragility of ourselves as a species and the punctuality of art movements.  The installation presents a periodic story of our species painted on periodicals.

Watch the artist interview:

The Pigeon’s Club | ATSA

Exhibition Title: The Pigeon’s Club | ATSA

Artist: ATSA

Opening: Mar 20-21, 2011

Exhibition Dates: Mar 20-21, 2011

ATSA & grunt gallery
May 20 – 21, 2011

In May 2011 ATSA and grunt gallery hosted an ALL-INCLUSIVE event entitled “The Pigeon’s Club.” This event took place at Pigeon Park on the corner of Hastings and Carrall in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC.

The event boasted a getaway complete with exterior swimming pool and deck chairs and additional tourist iconography in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area where social exclusion and human suffering are among the most intensely experienced in Canada, but where there is also the greatest concentration of mutual aid and frontline services.

The Pigeon’s Club was a satirical critique of the glossy, squeaky-clean view of the world championed by travel agency brochures, which extol happiness as an all-inclusive package deal. ATSA provided its own outrageous take on the whole aesthetic of the ALL-INCLUSIVE to better pull people’s strings and stir up debate.

gruntKitchen produced a video by ATSA titled “in this mean time” and a video documentary of the project by Elisha Burrows. Funding for this program was provided by the City of Vancouver 125th Grants, The British Columbia Arts Council through the Arts Based Community Development Program and The Quebec Arts Council. We also thank The Carnegie Centre, Gallery Gachet and W2 for support of this project.

Take a look at The Pigeon’s Club:

Old Growth | Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Exhibition Title: Old Growth | Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

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Exhibition Title: Old Growth
Exhibition Dates: Thu, April 21 – Sat, May 21
Opening: Thursday, April 21 · 7:30pm – 11:00pm
Artist: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Curator: Liz Park

Working with curator Liz Park, Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas presents a selection of his published works alongside previously unseen drawings and sketches from his thirty plus years of graphic art production. Yahgulanaas’ work combines traditional Haida form-line with the conventions of Asian graphic novels known as “manga” in a distinct style he calls “Haida Manga”. This exhibition is coordinated with the release of Yahgulanaas’ latest publication, a retrospective collection of his graphic work, produced in conjunction with grunt gallery.

This exhibition at grunt will feature a reading room/ lounge where Yahgulanaas’ previous publications can be reviewed in comfort. Selections of drawings and notes from his archive will be available for viewing and reproduced in large format on the walls of the gallery. Yahgulanaas’ interest in manga and its importance in East Asian culture creates unique cross- cultural dialogue and exchange. The reading room and its contents will open up discussions around indigeneity, issues of accessibility and non-oppositional strategies of engagement.

The Old Growth project comes out of the artist’s and curator’s histories of politically engaged work within a broader cross cultural context. Manga is an important and popular cultural force globally, and provides a specific cultural backdrop to Yahgulanaas’ practice. He works out of a Haida tradition of adaptation, pushing the capacities of Haida formline design further through the use of new materials and ideas. Yahgulanaas’ visual storytelling methods expand and cross the boundaries of different artistic disciplines, cultures and sub-cultures, and challenge conventions around exhibiting the Art of Indigenous Peoples.

“Old Growth” publication, available for purchase.

The publication was produced in conjunction with grunt gallery. This project has been made possible through contributions from the Vancouver Foundation and the Hamber Founda- tion. The publication was published in conjunction with Simply Read Editions and Raincoast Books.

Watch the artist and curator interview here:

gruntKitchen: Media Lab Unveiling

Exhibition Title: gruntKitchen: Media Lab Unveiling

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Grunt gallery celebrated the unveiling of a high-tech media lab called gruntKitchen, a transformation that modified the previously existing kitchen space. The opening represented the culmination of several years of fundraising and planning, and two solid months of renovation. In addition to the support of funders and the work of grunt’s staff and volunteers, this project was realized through the particularly strong show of support in donations made by the individu- als that make up grunt’s community.

The Media Lab is a key component of grunt’s Activating the Archive project. Activating the Archive is a multi-year project that involves bringing the archive of grunt’s 26+ years of production into the digital realm through the development of an online, interactive, database-driven website. The MediaLab provides facilities for the digitization of records and capturing of video. It is also a site for a curated program of contemporary artists to develop and from which they can present new media and performance-based work in response to materials found in grunt’s archive.

Grunt’s kitchen has been central to grunt’s history as the literal and metaphorical heart of the organization. This small room has been the ‘think-tank’ of our collective where programs and exhibitions have been developed while sipping a cup of coffee. It has also been the place where many new ideas and organizations have come into fruition. With the establishment of the Media Lab, grunt gallery looks forward to meeting its continued commitment to provide artists new ways of presenting and disseminating their work.

This project was made possible in part through financial support from the City of Vancouver, through the Capital Grants and Infrastructure Grants programs; Canadian Heritage, through the Cultural Spaces Program; the British Columbia Arts Council, through the Capacity and Sustainability Program; the Canada Council for the Arts, through SOFI; and radio stations 103.5 QM/FM, the Beat 94.5 and TEAM Radio, through the ArtsFACT program. This renovation was also supported by in-kind donations from Coast Decorating Benjamin Moore Paint and Cantu Bathroom Hardware Ltd.

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