The gallery is pleased to open the fall season with its first solo exhibition of new large paintings by the acclaimed Canadian artist, Sky Glabush (b. 1970, Alert Bay; lives London, Ontario).
“These new paintings are stories. But what language do they speak? Who are the characters? How is meaning constructed? Paintings operate, in some sense, outside of language. Or they employ a language unbounded and unencumbered by text. If there is a story in painting it speaks across time and is often dislocated and liberated from the specificity of a particular reading. It has no beginning or end. Process and labour are embedded in painting’s surface but are not linear, sequential, or durational. Unlike a novel or play which unfold events over intervals, there is no starting point within painting and it appears all at once, similar to the way we perceive a person. A person has a history and is the product of embodied memory and experience; but when we see a person we perceive a totality not a collection of parts.
For many years now I have perhaps been disassembling and rebuilding my practise. I have looked at it from a variety of angles exploring history, identity, and memory and revelling in the vastness and range open to me. I have decided to return to painting as a way to synthesize some of these approaches and to try to fuse these threads into a focussed narrative structure. I truly don’t understand why certain ideas and feelings seem to emerge and almost push me around in the studio. But I have tried to be receptive to these promptings, to listen closely to these voices. The first painting I made in this series is a large portrait. It picks up on a working method that I have been pursuing for several years: paintings started and completed in one sitting, spontaneous, intuitive and evoking a kind of reflexivity or psychology. But unlike these immediate, intimate little paintings, I began to create a large work that adopts an almost a mural-like motif like you might find on the side of a municipal building or school. It employs a kind of story-telling approach but the narrative is uncertain, the story reticent, the meaning deferred. In this new work I am seeking the clarity of a common, public story like a folk tale with the private, undisclosed structure of my imagination.”