06 September 2014

Road trip report

Susan Tilsley Manley, Kate Madeloso and I recently took a two day road trip  to see all four galleries where the Oh, Canada show was being presented. After picking up Susan in Durham, NS we took the ferry to Prince Edward Island with the gallery at the Confederation Centre for the Arts as our first destination. But we didn't get there without a fibre detour! After passing the sign for Belfast Mini Mills we turned around (yes, we foolishly drove a few more kilometres) and headed for the business. It was one of the highlights of the trip. The owners are warm wonderful people who delighted in giving us a tour of their operation. We had a chance to talk with Hazel who creates wonderful wet felted backgrounds for people who want to pursue felting but are put off by the blinding whiteness at the start. She offers a one day class and we will definitely go back for a day of felting and laughter.

I had never been to the Confederation Centre of the Arts and I was really surprised to see such a large and well-kept facility. The gallery space was very nice. The show was a mixture of pieces we liked, pieces that puzzled us, and pieces we really disliked. After ice cream at Cows we headed over the bridge to Moncton.

Our first stop the next morning was to be Galerie Sans Nom. We were about thirty minutes early so we wandered around the Aberdeen Cultural Centre where the gallery is located. An artist in a studio on the main floor told us about a fibre artist upstairs. Imagine that person's surprise when the three of us piled into her studio and started oohing and aahing. As it became clear that we spoke her language she started going into her closet and bringing out things that were hidden away, probably because not many non-fibre people would 'get' them. We loved each new thing more. The artist is Marjolaine Bourgeois. You should stop by and say hello when you are in Moncton. You won't regret a visit to the Aberdeen building. It has a warm and creative vibe.

Les pieds dans l'eau, 2014, Marjolaine Bourgeois

We saw the next two galleries on the afternoon of the second day. It was good to end at the Owens Gallery at Mount Allison University. All three of us felt found some of our favourite artwork in that portion of the show. The Oh, Canada show will remain in our region for a couple more weeks. I encourage everyone to get out to see it if you can. You won't like everything (or anything) but it will prompt you to reflect on important topics globally and in your own art practice.

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