Regina Clay: Worlds in the Making
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HISTORIES: SEEING DOUBLE: PERSPECTIVES ON PLACE

Video
Interpretation of artists and artworks in Regina Clay
Run Time: 2:29 | File size: 5.2 MB
Transcript

Dual perspectives abound in the works in this exhibition. In Victor Cicansky's sculptures from the years 1972-75, a riotous marriage of high and low culture results from the combination of childhood imagery, such as the outhouses of Regina's Eastern European neighbourhood known as "the Garlic Flats," with outside references to fine art, ancient history and classical architecture. In these works, life-sized rocks, plastic flowers, and ceramic decals are set within a miniature world, creating a jarring shift of scales. In most case, the spaces are opened up, cutaway, and exposed to the viewer who is in turn drawn inside, creating an experience of place that is engaged with local realities, but always with an awareness of larger frames of reference. The incongruency of those different frameworks results in a wry prairie humour which is uniquely Cicansky's.

Fafard's portraits of family members and the small town residents of Pense show a respect for a shared agrarian past, but also demonstrate a knowledge of art historical sources ranging from Egyptian seated stone figures to Benin bronzes. For Yuristy, an underlying tension between a rooted regional identity and a restless mobility finds expression first in his fanciful ink drawings of hybrid building-vehicles and later in his ceramics, which range from recreations of his Ukrainian immigrant parent's horse-drawn cutter to his mobile animal-shelters, which he also realized in the form of wooden playground structures. Through contact with Saskatchewan folk artists, Thauberger came to realize that rural life on the prairies was no less exotic than, for example, Chicago outlaw biker culture. This revelation is visible in his shift from motorcycle "trophies" to sculptures of the false-front theatres and hotels of small town Saskatchewan. Lorne Beug draws on an interest in anthropology and the physical sciences in works that play on varying scales of human, geological, and natural history. Even Jack Sures, who was by no means a regionalist, began to show an interest in place in the 1970s through tiles and plaques depicting a mythic, creature-filled garden filled with rivalry and lust on the one hand and idyllic love and harmony on the other.



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Virtual Museum of Canada REGINA CLAY: WORLDS IN THE MAKING MacKenzie Art Gallery