AVERNUS - JUNE 30 to JULY 14, 2013

Jason Edwards, Catherine Joa,
Kerri Reid & Mike Spencer


GALLERY HOURS: Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 5 and by appointment. Admission is free or by donation.

Image: Jason Edwards, Canning Jars(2013)
Graphite on vellum, varying sizes.

AVERNUS brings together selected works from four artists, with each artwork presenting the discovery of objects as the impetus for creation. The exhibition takes its name from a bottomless lake in The Sunless City, a dime store novel allegedly found in the wilderness and read by prospector Thomas Creighton (Creighton is credited to having named the city of Flin Flon, Manitoba, after the book's protagonist, Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin. In addition, the neighbouring town of Creighton, Saskatchewan bears the prospector's name).

The manifestation of this object discovery varies from artist to artist. Jason Edwards' untitled still lifes make use of discovered materials for creation: fiber-based photographic paper salvaged from a derelict house in Rockglen, SK, preserved despite a proclaimed 1975 expiry date. Though the edges of the images show signs of age (minor creases and fogging) their tonal range defies the paper's instability. The prints are exhibited unframed: understated photographs of found objects, on found objects. Creating new works for the exhibition, Catherine Joa's two paintings depict discovered object as subject matter: litter found amid the wilderness on walks close to the artist's home in nearby Denare Beach. Joa's interest lies in the designation of these items as discarded, and how this designation relates to the concept of object permanence. Her careful observations allow for a rediscovery of forgotten articles, affirming their existence for a viewing audience. Kerri Reid's Souvernirs (California)(2012) consists of small rocks collected from various locations along the northern coast of California, exhibited alongside handmade stoneware replicas. The Souvenirs project began with an artist's residency in Iceland, where visiting tourists have reported bad luck after removing lava stones from the island, even mailing back the stones in an effort to thwart resulting misfortunes. Although unsuperstitious, Reid appreciates the logic of reciprocity behind this gesture, making replicas with the intention of returning them as replacements for collected rocks from various locations, including Iceland, California, and Saskatchewan, so far. Lastly, Mike Spencer's Herringbone Rug Painting(2013) was created using an unassuming rug in the artist's studio at NorVA Centre, Flin Flon. Laying primed canvas across the surface of the rug, the artist used a palette knife and a frottage-like method to apply paint, allowing for the rug's distinctive surface pattern to dominate the composition. While certainly familiar, the rug element evades immediate recognition, eventually revealing the artist's process and related movement within the studio.

AVERNUS is on display at Baba's House, a transitory gallery space in Creighton, Saskatchewan, June 30 through July 14th, 2013. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5, and by special appointment. Please join us for an opening reception on Sunday, June 30 at 1PM.

Jason Edwards is a photographer and visual artist currently working in Saskatchewan. Using recently antiquated forms of image making, he attempts to interpret the surrounding landscape through a reliance on intuition, observation, and a modernist celebration of form and light. Obsolete technology and vintage printed matter inform his printmaking and graphic experiments. He has completed a BFA in photography from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, and studied craft and design at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD University) in Halifax.

Catherine Joa is a visual artist, high school art teacher and mother. Determined to spend the better part of her life close to nature, her work is an exploration of the human relationship to the land. Catherine holds a BFA from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Education from the University College of the North in The Pas, MB. She resides in Denare Beach, Saskatchewan. Catherine has exhibited work locally and in Winnipeg.

Kerri Reid is a visual artist originally from Vancouver, BC. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, and has participated in residencies in Vermont, Iceland, Banff, Dawson City, and Saskatchewan. She spent several years co-directing (with Tyler Brett) The Bruno Arts Bank, a small music venue/artist residency/coffee shop/art gallery/mini-museum/music and bookshop in Bruno, Saskatchewan. Reid and Brett have recently re-located back to BC, to start up a new small arts centre/residency/etc in the coastal fishing village of Sointula, which was originally founded by Finnish socialist utopians. In addition to starting up The Sointula Art Shed, Reid also plays bass for Brett's The Department, with recent performances in Reykjavik, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, at the Bruno Cherry Festival, at the Bruno Friendship Centre for Seniors Appreciation Day, and they will be performing this month at the ODD Gallery in Dawson City, YT.

Mike Spencer is a multi-disciplinary artist from Manitoba. He holds a BFA from the University of Manitoba and a MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD University). He is currently the manager of the Northern Visual Art Centre in Flin Flon Manitoba. Working in painting, photography, sculpture and conceptual projects, Mike has exhibited in Winnipeg, Halifax, Toronto and Montreal.