After the holidays I spent a leisurely afternoon wandering through the architectural beauty of the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver, B.C. This world renowned museum has recently undergone a major renovation and on this particular day their collection of Northwest totems, Haida houses and carvings were incredibly inspiring in the sun-filled main hall. You could actually feel the age of these pieces, and perhaps envision Emily Carr living and drawing among works like these in their original environment. As I contemplated the direction of my rainforest paintings, it seemed fitting to spend time especially with the totems, trees carved so long ago as part of our First Nations culture. Have a look at this 3-D piece by one of today's First Nations artists, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas whose exciting movable panel-painting titled “Bone Box” was exhibited along side the ancient pieces.
Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens.
A bonus show on at the same time; was the groundbreaking exhibition of early twentieth century photographic works by Man Ray and his contemporaries. Like many artists of his day, Man Ray was heavily inspired by African art. It was fascinating to see both recently discovered photographs along with the original objects he used in his avant guard photography. This Man Ray quote put into words the exact reasons I choose to either paint or photograph my subject matter. I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.”
Right on Man Ray I agreed! If I want to document the 'real thing' I take a photograph. When it's the energy of a place or thing, my imagination and brush step in.