Find out more about the artist David Ceolin as he reflects on his solo exhibition Modern Terrain and the role of creativity in his art practice.Read More
Written by Aleksandra Kaliszuk
Art is good for you! Yes, you read that right. The process of creating or experiencing art, whether it be a painting, music, writing, you name it, has positive benefits on one’s psychological well being! Engaging in a creative activity will result in ample health benefits.
Distraction From Everyday Life
Art is a great way to get distracted from that crazy daily routine. We are all constantly bombarded with information and notifications. Taking a moment (or two) to slow down and create something is a great way to unwind and get distracted from all those responsibilities and tasks you've been thinking about all day.
Its no secret as to why art and creativity are used as a form of therapy. Research has shown that the right kind of art can affect a hospital patients’ well being by stimulating their brain, taking their mind off their worries and decreasing their stress levels! Art is a form of meditation, and is used to nonverbally express emotions. So yes, go buy yourself that adult colouring book you were eyeing!
Sense of Accomplishment
Creating something, anything, will trigger an individual’s sense of accomplishment. Feeling accomplished, could result in an increase in self esteem and happiness. Be proud of what you create!
By creating art, you challenge your imagination and ability to continue working on a project, making mistakes and facing potential obstacles. This can promote personal growth and problem solving skills which can be reflected in various situations in your life.
Creating and experiencing art can help develop critical thinking skills that can be applied in all areas of one’s life. A recent study at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Northwest Arkansas found that students that were taken to the museum improved their ability to think critically! Other benefits of visiting the museum included historical empathy and a sparked interest in art museums.
There is evidently a relationship between creativity, individual development and healing. So create something beautiful or visit a gallery… Art is for everyone!
Written By Simran Birk
This month's exhibition at Twist Gallery, Inner Landscapes, Arisings from the Space of Being, features the extraordinary work of Kim Puil. Half way into the show, Kim’s work has met many positive reviews. Each piece is a big, bold and colorful collage that has its own backstory. We sat down with Kim to gain some perspective on how she was able to create such magnificent pieces.
I understand that you started off as a dancer, was art something you’ve always been interested in? or did you find it as another medium that you could express yourself?
I have always been interested in art and cannot imagine a world without it. I had the privilege of being a young artist in a very exciting time in the art world. The 70’s were bristling with artists breaking boundaries and rules- and the independent art scene was thriving. The dance form that I trained in was technically very hard to do requiring discipline and commitment yet it was full of emotion, intensity and included the shadow side of the psyche. I have been drawing and creating alongside my dance since the beginning.
I understand Bon-Buddhism and yoga are important influences to this exhibition. Could you elaborate on this? Could you describe what Bon Buddhism is?
The dancer and yoga have always walked hand-in-hand so from a very young age I have practiced yoga and continue to do so. They are very complimentary to one another- i.e. movement and stillness etc. As a seeker in life, meditation was the next natural step and I even paused from my life to enter an ashram for a number of months to deepen my experience.
For me, meditation is not about “exiting” the reality of one’s life here on this planet, but it is to understand and work with the realities on all levels, of what it is to be a human. This includes all parts of us whether they are labelled “good” or “bad”, “pleasant” or “unpleasant”. I feel blessed that I was fortunate in my life to have an art form whose purpose of expression and content was to transmit these realities to the audience.
Buddhism has always peaked my curiosity because the teachings are about how to navigate the waters of this life. There is acknowledgement that suffering does exist but at the same time the idea is that we are responsible for and can mitigate how we cope with and react to the challenges that we come across.
Bon buddhism has its roots in the ancient shamans of Tibet and its culminates in the advanced meditative practices of Dzogchen- “The Great Perfection”. The Bon practices encompass the “whole” - our external world as seen in nature and the universe, and the internal world of our mind, emotions and thoughts.
I enrolled in a self-transformational program in the United States called The 3 Doors Academy that was started by my Bon teacher Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche . Over a period of 2 1/2 years one had to practice various meditation techniques, do group and personal retreats and reflect on challenges, resistance or blockages (a.k.a.”pain”) in three areas of our life: personal self, family and work/community. This culminated in 63 written “transformations” where over a period of time by working with formal and informal mediation practices we “dissolved” or experienced a “shift” in the nature of our “pain”.
Could you also explain the processes behind these collages? They’ve must have taken hours and hours of work! Could you elaborate on the type of mediums you used?
The first step in my process is meditation practice either with or without a purposeful intention. My subject is my experience of “how things are living in me” at a particular moment in time and my working relationship with the meditation practices in any given moment. It’s funny that my work space is very, very tiny and yet the collages are big! I am choreographing in a new way - and at times I am moving my body all over the place as I cut and try to reproduce the kinesthetic sense of what it is that I have felt. I like to use handmade papers from around the world, discarded and found objects as well as the recycled cardboard that is the “canvas.” It takes usually 3-4 weeks to lay down the layers of paper and objects. The job I hate the most is the gluing as I do not usually glue as I go along. I have to make sure that I am well-centered and not tired as this is an arduous process that requires concentration and great patience - a practice of its own!
Inner Landscapes, Arisings from the space of being. Why this title?
“Inner Landscapes” refers to me, the traveler, and my reactions and feelings travelling through the different terrains of my life. “Arisings From The Space Of Being” alludes to what they refer to in Dzogchen as the base of all or on the elemental level - the element of space where everything in existence arises from and dissolves back into. These collages are my arisings- past, present and future and an expression of what it is to be alive.
Finally, what is your favorite piece in this work? Why?
I don't have a favourite piece. I know all of them very intimately as they are all “me” and are a visual, kinetic experience from a very real moment of time in my life. My connection to them is much like that of 2 lovers…we shared, we loved, we travelled the heart and corners of ourselves and now it is time to part, to continue the journey of exploration and share the love with others.
With many great reviews, Inner Landscapes, Arisings from the Space of Being is not to be missed. Come on down to Twist Gallery before June 30th, to see the work before it is gone!
Written By: Simran Birk
Canada is short of its 150th birthday in a few weeks. Over a century of development and progress has ranked Canada among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. However, Canada’s progress and flourishment in cultural and artistic movements should also be acknowledged and recognized. Let us recount Canada’s finest artists from the past century and half.
It is important to start this article with recognizing and celebrating indigenous art. Indigenous art is an important part of Canadian art as it describes a history and culture that has been established in Canada for centuries. It should also be acknowledged that the word ‘Canada’ is believed to originates from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement". Bill Reid is a renowned Haida artist who specializes in jewelry, sculpture, screen-printing, and paintings. His work has can be found in various galleries and museums across Canada. An important accomplishment of Reid’s is that two of his sculptures, Raven and the First Men and Spirit of Haida Gwaii, are prominently featured on the $20 Canadian note from 2004 to 2012.
Another aboriginal artist that deserve recognition for their artistic work is Rebecca Belmore. Belmore specializes in installations and performance pieces. Belmore is especially important as her piece’s addresses history, voice and voice-lessness, place, and identity. Belmore work incorporates art, history, and politics to create a truly impactful piece of work. Some of Belmore accomplishments include the 2013 Governors General Awards as well as being the first aboriginal woman representing Canada at the Venice Biennale in 2005.
Moving on to other artists who have influenced the Canadian art scene, the Group of Seven is a name that is known by many Canadians. The Group of Seven is a group of artists who specialized in painting Canadian landscape during the early 20th century. The group originally consisted of Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley. The Group of Seven is best known for initiating a national art movement in Canadian art. The Group traveled across Canada, depicting its varying landscapes in a new perspective, that gained popularity among Canadian society.
Emily Carr is name that is often associated with the group of Seven and Canadian artists. Although Carr was not officially member of the group, she was closely associated. Carr is known for being one of the first artist to adopt a Modernist and Post-Impressionist painting style. Initially, Carr’s work is focused on indigenous culture and art. However, there is an evident shift to landscape paintings later in her life, when she became involved with the Group of Seven. Carr is an important figure in Canadian art history as she broke and changed the customary representational form of landscape paintings by painting the landscape and spirit of Canada in a modern style. Carr’s life and work is recognized through the many Canadian art institutions named in her honor and the various galleries and museums that hold her work.
The late 20th century and early 21st century art scene has also been impacted with various artists from different movements and mediums. One group that should be mentioned is the media based artists, General Idea. General Idea was an active art group from 1967 to 1994, that is made up of artists Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson. General Idea’s work specialized in the twisting forms of popular mass media culture, such as beauty pageants, television talk shows and trade fair pavilions into unconventional media forms. These forms would include postcards, posters, balloons etc. General Idea’s later work addresses the AIDS crisis’s, spreading awareness of this disease through various projects. General Idea’s accomplishments include being featured in the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Canada.
Canada’s art scene is much like the country; incredibly diverse with passion and culture. The artists in this article are a few of the many who contribute to Canadian art. However, it is important to understand that art in Canada is influential and impactful in various ways; whether its making a statement about politics or bringing awareness to a disease, art always has a purpose. With Canada’s 150th birthday coming up, it is important to not only celebrate the birth of this great nation but also to recognize it many accomplishments throughout the years, whether it be in science, culture or art.
Written by Simran Birk
It is an ironic statement, priceless art; when in fact most Van Gogh’s or Picasso's pieces are sold in the millions. So how can be art be referred as priceless if there is often a selling price. The idea that famous works of art are considered priceless, is the result of the inflating value of the artwork overtime. When a museum or private buyer acquire the infamous artworks of Warhol or Da Vinci, there is no reason to sell the work for it will always be considered valuable. With time, these pieces will be worth more than what was invested. Therefore, essentially they are considered priceless due to its exponentially increasing worth.
What classifies a ‘priceless’ work of art. The title of the most expensive artwork is shared between, Willem de Kooning, Interchange and Paul Gauguin Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?). Each were purchased at 303 million and now inhabit a museum or the collections of private buyer.
Paul Cézanne, The Card Players is the third most expensive piece of art. It was sold at a 256 million to the Royal Family of Qatar. The fourth most expensive piece of art sold is Jackson Pollock, Number 17A which sold at 202 million to a private buyer.
Finally, the fifth most expensive piece of artwork ever sold is No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) by Mark Rothko. It was purchased by Dmitry Rybolovlev in a private sale for 188 million.
The value of art is a subjective matter; as cliché as it sounds, one mans garbage is another’s treasure. It is believed that Van Gogh had only sold one painting in his whole life; however, he is now considered a prominent figure in the world of art and his work is worth millions. This demonstrates that the value of art is ever changing. However, it is evident that the most valuable art is one whose intensity and expression has the power to impact the emotions of another. That is truly priceless art.
Who knew so much went into planning an exhibition when making the artwork was hard enough in itself? Unfortunately putting on exhibition is more than simply printing photographs and framing them onto the wall but never fear, we have complied a small list of things for you to consider before displaying your lovely work!
1. THE LIGHTING
It is important to consider the type of the lighting your work will be placed under. If you have fairly warm tones in your photograph and it is placed under tungsten or natural lighting, this could create an overall warm tone to your photograph that you may not want. It is key to view the space beforehand and colour balance your work to fit the lighting accordingly or bring in additional lighting as needed. Windows will also affect lighting and mixing different colour temperatures can cause an odd colour balance. Remember, the photographs will appear darker and less vibrant once printed than on your computer screen so it is always good to make multiple test prints!
2. HOW TO DISPLAY IT
There is more than one way to exhibit your work than simply hanging it on a wall. You can use magnets to create a seamless and borderless look or use frames for a geometric structure but be sure to consider the reflection on top of the glass! The artwork could be tethered to wire and suspended from the ceiling or at the top of a wall to appear as if floating. Depending on what surface you choose to print or paint onto such as a fabric, it can then be folded and draped across a wall. Light boxes are also a unique and innovative way to display photographs that further illuminate and intensify the details of the images.
3. TYPES OF SURFACES
Depending on the type of surface your work is printed or painted on, the texture could create an unwanted appearance. Glossy paper is going to be highly reflective once a light is shone on it, however it makes coloured images look more vibrant and lively. Matte paper can appear quite flat and cause photographs to loose depth. It is always good to print on multiple surfaces and bring them into the gallery space to see how the look under the lighting. You could also print on: metal, wood, fabrics or glass; the possibilities are endless.
If you’ve created a body of work that all flows and connects with one another, consider how they will be placed and sequenced on the wall. You can place the images chronologically as if to tell a story or if the images do not necessary belong together, they can be grouped by colour or content. Sequencing is important to keep in the back of your mind when arranging the images. Try to think as a viewer walking into the gallery and where their eyes will travel first and carry through onto the next image. How do you want the work to be observed? Be sure to leave space between each piece to allow it to be observed solely on its own or keep them together if you wish to create a different affect.
We hope these tips and tricks have given you some things to consider when planning your next exhibition! You can always draw inspiration from other galleries to see how they display their work or call on other artists for assistance and opinions. Best of luck!