Module: Eliza Au + Ian Johnston + Lylian Klimek

March 21 to May 31, 2009

MODULE brings together the work of three very different artists, all of whom work three dimensionally, producing installations. Eliza Au is from Richmond, BC, but is currently completing an MFA in ceramic art at Alfred University, in New York State. Ian Johnston lives and works in Nelson, BC, and Lylian Klimek is from Calgary. Each was invited by our curator, Liz Wylie, to participate in this exhibition, which will be accompanied by a full-length catalogue.

Eliza Au will be represented by her large, almost architectural piece, Hymn to Calamity, created in 2007. This C-shaped structure rises to a height of eleven-and-a-half feet. The repeated white rectangular ceramic units are strung with lights so that the structure emits its own serene inner glow. Au wished to explore how spirituality has often been expressed through geometric means. She was also thinking of the calm in the eye of a hurricane. Viewers’ experiences of this piece are bound to differ so we invite visitors to share their thoughts on our gallery comment logs (both handwritten and computer-based).

Ian Johnston will take over one end wall of the gallery space for his installation, Swimming Upstream in the comfort of: Homage to Yves Klein, which has been executed in a deep ultramarine colour in homage to International Klein Blue (IKB). This pigment was invented and named by the twentieth-century French artist Yves Klein (1928-1962). As well as the gallery wall, the vinyl car bumpers are also that colour, so the whole surface will read as a monochromatic relief. The protruding fragments of car bumpers often have holes where the headlights would go, which read like blank eyes, and cause the overall conglomeration to seem like a gathering of strange organic forms.

Lylian Klimek has created several clusters of works that are each fashioned around separate modular forms. Reflecting the artist’s concerns for the environment, her cross sections of trees in two pieces, and the title of another work referring to the recent North American sickening of millions of honey bees, nudge the viewer into thinking about these issues. Other clusters of works are more abstract, without obvious natural referents, and these speak through their forms and innovative materials to an even deeper aspect of ourselves, more at the level of poetry.

Uniting these highly disparate works is each artist’s approach to the repeated unit, or module, forming the title of the show.

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