Monday, 25 August 2014

Bureaucrats, Judy, and going for a walk.

For generations the lighthouse has been inextricably linked with the identity of seafaring  communities throughout Canada. Especially in the Maritimes, they marked an ongoing contribution that characterized the values of nationhood up until the transitional years of modernist Canada. They were emblematic of place identity. They were beacons of the concept that nationality is linked with being rooted in one place, that is the idea of having a community, region, a home or country. 

 Modernism and the nationhood debate altered the nature of collective identity for Canadians. The exciting and convulsive life of modernism was predicated on the concept that we were indeed placeless - a state of mind, like a country without boarders. It paved the information highway but left many casualties, including the iconic lighthouse, eventually forcing its usefulness to the sidelines with new technology and global positioning systems.

The so called postmodern world we now live in has changed our lives considerably. The terms by which authority, knowledge, navigation, community, identity and time are conceived, have been altered forever.  And so has the ethos of the lighthouse we know today.

There are not many architectural objects which still evoke such complex human emotions as the lighthouse through cultural memory. Place identity, and why the lighthouse is the new “outsider” since being declared surplus, is still a fixture for many Atlantic Canadians, as out migration continues to take its toll. 

                                              "I'm a lighthouse, it's your call."

What would happen if two artists swapped their intellectual property on the subject of the lighthouse, in the form of drawings, and then each created a work of art based on the others idea?

Laura Kenny proposed this concept to me to see what we may come up with. The rug hooking of Laura Kenny is well know in the Atlantic Canadian region, as is her character Judy, a devoted protector of all things honourable, humorous, and bizarre.

  So here's what we did.

Study for: Timber - The Bureaucrat's Line, Steven Rhude

Timber - The Bureaucrat's Line, Rug Hooking,  31.5" x 12.5",Laura Kenny

Study for: Judy Takes Her Lighthouse For a Walk, Laura Kenny

Judy Takes Her Lighthouse For a Walk, o/p, 24" x 20", Steven Rhude

These are just a few of the works to be included in "I'm a Lighthouse, it's your call.", a two person show by Laura Kenny and Steven Rhude - paintings and rug hooking at Harvest Gallery, Wolfville, NS.

Opening October 18th, 2014. For more information contact Harvest Gallery (see link at top of page)

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

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