Monday, 30 December 2013

Resettlement

"Because you can't beat the bloody system ... in a month there'll be no mail boat, no coastal boat service. That's all part of it. And when its all over they can sit behind their polished desks and congratulate themselves that they've saved another poor fisherman from poverty. In the mean time I've sold my house and gear for a tenth of what it is worth; I've slaughtered all my livestock, and I'm leaving behind fifty one years of my life. But that's not their worry." 

From The Last Summer - a short story by Jeanne Rogers

Study for Resettlement Road, oil on copper, 12" x 14", Steven Rhude


Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

The Huguenot

"We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies."

Shirley Abbott  

The Huguenot, oil on copper, 12" x 12", Steven Rhude

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Capture 2014

Ambera Wellmann, There is Nothing to Fear, 2013

Dalhousie Art Gallery
17 January – 9 March 2014
Capture 2014:
Nova Scotian Realism

CURATED BY TOM SMART AND PETER DYKHUIS
OPENING RECEPTION Thursday 16 January at 8 PM

Organized by the Dalhousie Art Gallery in association with Professional Living Artists of NovaScotia (PLANS). Curatorial research funded by the Robert Pope Foundation with project support from the Craig Foundation.

Gratefully acknowledging the additional support of: The Black Family; Moore Executive Suites; Premiere Self Storage; Spanish Bay Inn, Sydney.

In the diverse history of Nova Scotian art, there is a consistent tradition of artists working in the Realist mode. From ship portraitists, landscape painters, and still life and trompe-l'oeil artists, to Magic Realists and those who work from photographic and digital sources, this pluralistic tradition is a vital part of Nova Scotian cultural identity.

The Dalhousie Art Gallery, celebrating its sixtieth year, is the oldest public gallery in Halifax. The presence of Realist artwork, manifested both in its exhibition history and the Permanent Collection, is an on-going conversation weaving through the Gallery’s programming legacy.

Richard Davis, 65 Volvo, 2013


Instigated by PLANS and developed in partnership with the Dalhousie Art Gallery, Capture 2014 began its life as a province-wide call for submissions that  received 112 responses. Through the support of PLANS and the generous funding from the RobertPope Foundation, freelance curator Tom Smart (in consultation with Peter Dykhuis, Director/Curator of the Dalhousie Art Gallery), conducted 43 studio visits during the summer of 2013, which resulted inthe selection of 28 artists from almost every region of the province.

The works in the exhibition are organized into several divergent categories and genres based on the concept of “capturing” experience, place or ideas through modes of Realism. The groupings include the capture of the landscape or scenes directly – en plein air or by using site-specific activity as the basis for translating or fixing the experience of place later in the studio; the “capture” of uncanny and magical atmospheres, landscape and creatures; the use of visual metaphors to engender perceptualist experiences; the quotation of historical process and styles, or the application of tradition-based technique and media; and unique statements within
figuration, expressive realism, illustratively-based styles, and social realisms.

Between Windsor and Wolfville, Gordon Macdonald, 2013


Realism’s long, sometimes uneasy relationship with contemporary art making practices has often seen its proponents at odds with current mainstream or academic modes and genres. Capture 2014: Nova Scotian Realism seeks to dispel common assumptions about the nature of Realist art by presenting work by artists who are pushing its boundaries. Above all, the exhibition questions received notions of the status and place of Realism in the contexts of current art practices and contemporary society.

The artists in the exhibition are: Alan Bateman, Douglas Boutilier, Malcolm Callaway, Anthony Clementi, Richard Davis, Tom Forrestall, Peter di Gesu, Susan Gibson, Christopher Gorey, Peter Gough, Adam Gunn, Paul Hannon, Ed Huner, Derrick Dale Johnson, Joy Snihur Wyatt Laking, Gord MacDonald, Roy Mandell, Katie Melanson, Shelley Mitchell, Yanina Movchan, Onni Nordman, Jaye Ouellette, Susan Paterson, Mary Reardon, Steven Rhude, Anna Syperek, Tom Ward, and Ambera Wellmann.
*****
Ambera Wellmann, There is Nothing to Fear, 2013.
Richard Davis, ‘65 Volvo, 2013.
Gordon Macdonald, Between Windsor and Wolfville, 2013








Thursday, 12 December 2013

Lost Drawings Series

"Remember what you have seen, because everything forgotten returns to the circling winds."

- Navajo Wind Chant


Furnace Room Drawing Book 



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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Friday, 29 November 2013

Ochre Pit Modern

Ochre Pit Modern, oil on canvas, Steven Rhude, 24"x 38", Emma Butler Gallery

"The cultivated man of today is gradually turning away from natural things, and his life is becoming more and more abstract. Natural (external) things become more and more automatic, and we observe that out vital attention fastens more and more on internal things… …Modern man –although a unity of body, mind and soul – exhibits a changed consciousness: every expression of his life has today a different aspect, that is, an aspect more positively abstract. [1]
Piet Mondrian


She asked him "what's it like to be modern?"

He could reply, but he didn't. He wanted to think.

She said, "I mean there are lots of things in cities and our homes that make us modern...

things that can change and are replaced, maybe changed for the better...

even out here in the landscape where there are trees and fields...

 but I'm not sure that necessarily makes us modern."

He thought he didn't know anymore what it was like to be modern. Many so called modernists just follow fashion.

He had this idea that modernism encompassed the world of space and time, and what was done with it. He believed Ghandi was a modernist. But maybe he was wrong.

He knew she liked the landscape around her, but he really didn't care for nature; he disliked the Netherlands because there were too many cows and fields. He especially disliked nature in painting. He was truly a flatlander. He liked his white paint flat - flake white flat.

For him the white was never flat enough. Space was never flat enough. Objects were intimidating - they needed to be flattened. Better yet, they had to go.

The ethos of place was precision to him; the only thing modern to him now was pure arrangement.

She said: "you gonna think all day or give me an answer?"

He said: "Trees! How ghastly!".

She left him and went down to the wharf. She needed to get out on the water.



[1] Piet Mondrian - * source, famous Dutch people life quotes: ‘De Nieuwe beelding in de Schilderkunst’, Piet Mondriaan, in ‘De Stijl’ No. 1, October 1917; as quoted in ”Letters of the great artists”, Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London 1963, pp. 234-236.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS










Monday, 25 November 2013

Passing through Dildo and toponyms to remember

The place name "Dildo" is attested in this area since at least 1711, though how this came to be is unknown. The origin of the word "dildo" itself is obscure. It was once used to reference a phallus-shaped pin stuck in the edging of a row boat to act as a pivot for the oar (also known as a "thole pin" or "dole pin.") [1]


Passing Through Dildo, oil on canvas, 35"x 60", Steven Rhude, Emma Butler Gallery

The Rock isn't just known for its colourful buildings and people. Newfoundland place names have inspired some of the most lively discussions over the centuries and, in many instances avoided sanitising by a 1904 Nomenclature Board, that according to Gordon Hancock (faculty member at Memorial University and a member of the Advisory Committee on Toponymic Research) was formed to eliminate postal code chaos and what at the time was considered to be "local embarassment that resulted from duplicate or unfortunate toponyms".  

The town's unusual name has brought it a certain amount of notoriety in the same vein as Fucking, Austria; Anus, France; Nob End, England; Effin, Ireland; Twatt, Scotland; Intercourse, Pennsylvania; Bald Knob, West Virginia; and Wankum, Germany. [2]


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In Scott Walden's fascinating book, Places Lost - In search of Newfoundland's Resettled Communities, he remarks on  how Dildo was intended to be replaced with Port Dornier, a much less memorable place name to say the least. South Dildo was to be replaced with the pedestrian "Avenue River."


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In other communities under siege by those pesky name changers "Joe Batts Arm" survived the ever boring name of "Queenstown", and Hibbs Hole was to be made appropriate for any modern map with a modest alteration to Hibbs Cove.


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One potential place name change which is truly baffling was the attempt to politicize "Little Catalina" into "Orangeville".

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In most cases the attempts to change community names met with resistance. Even Confederation played a role in name changes. The Newfoundland community name of "Regina" received official sanction in 1913 but was later changed to "Reginaville" to avoid confusion with Saskatchewan's capital of Regina. However, resistance has many forms and the residents still call their place - Regina.

Dildo, Wikipedia [1], [2]

Recommended reading - Places Lost - In Search of Newfoundland's Resettled Communities

Steven Rhude,Wolfville, NS 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Lost Drawings Series - Studies of Old Masters


After Michelangelo, graphite, 14"x 12", Steven Rhude



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After Michelangelo - Pieta, Florence, Santa Maria del Fiora - Head of Nicodemus.


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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Lost Drawings Series - Studies of Old Masters

In about 1614 - 1615 Rubens made some studies in connection with a Christ on the Cross painting. One in particular stood out for me. The original now in the London British Museum was drawn with Black and White chalk, and some bistre wash. It measures 21"x 15".  


Study after Rubens, chalk, 40"x 32", Steven Rhude



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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Lost Drawings Series - Ophelia



Ophelia, chalk, 40"x 32", Steven Rhude



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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Lost Drawings Series

Possibly seen near a stream.


Study of a Tree Branch, Graphite on paper, 11"x 14", Steven Rhude


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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Standard Corpus of Present Day English Language Usage arranged by word length and alphabetized within word length

Canada promises to "not make anymore boring buildings" for Banksy.


Hey Banksy, Steven Rhude



Hey Banksy, detail



Hey Banksy, detail


Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Lost Drawings Series

Possibly seen in a Wolfville basement.


Assorted portraits, media and size variable

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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Lost Drawings Series

Possibly seen in a Hemlock Woodland Trail - 1940's, old Acadia University Farm, Wolfville.

Drawing of Colosseum, Rome, Coloured pencils, Steven Rhude


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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Lost Drawings Series

Possibly see at the Acadian Deportation Site, Horton's Landing, NS

Assorted Drawings, Size variable, Steven Rhude

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Steven Rhude, Wolfville