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At The Gallery
Glenn Clark and Peter CorbettJanuary 18 -April 19, 2014
Abandoning Paradise is as much about the role of artists and function of art in relation to political and environmental concerns as it is about the act of recording the landscape.
Penticton artist Glenn Clark and Peter Corbett of Winlaw traveled together over the proposed route for Northern Gateway pipeline painting as they went.
“Our proposed gateway sketches and resulting studio paintings may seem to be an ineffective response compared to other large-scale, highly organized projects, yet I believe that work done on an individual and personal scale does contribute in meaningful ways to the larger, more high profile efforts. Besides the obvious public appeal of a pair of artists working alone against international pressure, there is the element of an individual voice, coming through our personal art practices. Art history gives us numerous examples of the strength of individual responses to adverse situations, from Pablo Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ to Diego Rivera and other revolutionary Mexican muralists to the Chilean Appilleras created in secret and distributed world-wide by women whose husbands and sons had ‘disappeared’ during the Pinochet regime in the 1970’s. Their bravery is considered an important element in the overthrow of that illegal dictatorship.
Representational paintings that faithfully document beauty may have value as such, and they can also be powerful political tools. Yet these landscape paintings, and this current project, works on another level as well. There is a conceptual undercurrent of making paintings in a linear fashion that follows the path of the proposed pipeline, an interest in the symbolism of preparing the path for potential pipeline construction workers with paintings about the beauty they would be about to desecrate. Combined with such large group actions and the resulting major magazine and internet exposure, projects such as Abandoning Paradise and its four seasonal painting trips may go a long way towards swaying public opinion”.