• Local(I)ty 2

Local(I)ty 2

Curiston, Widmer, Feist

February 6 - April 2, 2016

In 2013 I wrote Local(i)ty as an account of the current cultural production of three artists, who live in centres outside the mainstream cities of Canada. The original essay aimed to articulate the differences of small versus large centres within the concerns of what art can be seen as today, where it can be produced, and how it can be given an audience. Writers such as Daniel Baird use phrasing such as “creative communities in regions cut off from a cultural centre like New York” , and Baird suggests that these major cultural centres produce the meanings that communicate the contemporary issues surrounding art. Yet, the curator Ihor Holubizky explains that ideas have a larger life than just being isolated in cultural centers in the sense that any place imports and exports meaning. Holubizky proposes that the creative, cultural, and critical ideas found within our global discourse are constantly circulating.
I invited three artists to be a part of this project, as I find that they are producing critically important work. Nora Curiston, based in Grand Forks, Laura Widmer, based in Kelowna, and Brenda Feist, also based in Kelowna, navigate in and around the hierarchal system of the art world that streams emerging artists. Yet these artists continue to generate a cultural production that engages and contributes to the contemporary critical discourse in the visual arts, understanding that they are caught in a pre-existing system of exhibiting visual research that favours artists working in established centres. I feel that what these three artists have in common is their dedication to their practice and to the quality of the intellectual component of the work. Art is the common denominator of how each of these artists views the world around them, and art is the filter that gives voice to their individual pursuits of thinking and looking.
Since 2013, Nora Curiston continues her working methodology of pairing; in these recent works the pairing of the physical and the intangible. Wind is the poetic source and concept of these current investigations.
Brenda Feist continues her investigations of metaphor. Her use of the blackboard and the theatre sets underpin her questions and concerns of the societal mapping of the individual, through an investigation of the known self and the felt self.
Laura Widmer, as a printmaker, has focused a new attention to paper. Widmer has begun to make her own paper and she has many different streams of investigations continuing at one time; processes that becomes her metaphor for the search for the ultimate meaning of life.                                                                                                                   By Curator Carin Covin

[1] Local(i)ty received financial support from the British Columbia Arts Council in 2012, with the award of a Category I Projects Grant.  The publication was published with CC Publishing in 2013 and also has an online presence with http://localityproject.weebly.com/
[1] Daniel Baird is an American writer living in Toronto.  This quote is from an article titled “Aristotle Got It” page 69, The Walrus Magazine, October 2012.  The article explores issues of funding surrounding contemporary art.
[1] Ihor Holubizky, in his 2006 curatorial project titled “Radical Regionalism: Local Knowledge and Making Places” explores the local, as researched by artists whose sense of place informs their creative practice that is juxtaposed with the binary of regionalism and globalism.