NS reviews

Reviews of theatre and art in Nova Scotia and beyond

Four artworks up for 2021 Masterworks Award

The Sirens’ Calling by John Greer.

The four works that are finalists for the 2021 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award are: Lagomorph (Alexander MacLeod and Andrew Steeves); Porøs (Neil Forrest); The Princess Show (Aaron Collier, Deonie Hudson and Riche Wilcox); and The Sirens’ Calling (John Greer).

Established by Myra Freeman in 2005, the award recognizes the excellence of a particular work of art from any media. According to a press release, it is the largest cultural award based in Nova Scotia. This year $34,000 is awarded to the creators of the four finalist works. Each work on the shortlist is awarded a $3,000 Finalist Prize. The creator of the Masterwork will receive an additional $22,000 winner prize, for a grand total of $25,000.

There is a free Artists & Conversation panel for artists to speak about their creative processes on November 1 via livestream on the Masterworks Facebook page. The winning work will be announced in the late fall.

Lagomorph, created by Alexander MacLeod (author) and Andrew Steeves (book designer and printer) and nominated by Marilyn Smulders, Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, is a short story about the relationship between a man and the family pet, a rabbit named Gunther. It was bound in a hand-printed, hand-stitched and hand-bound letterpress book by Gaspereau Press in 2020,

Porøs, by Neil Forrest and nominated by Peter Henry, is a sculptural installation exploring and celebrating the fundamental nature of clay and its relationship with the elements. “Designed as a sort of hybrid-grotto, the work awed the jury with its complex and multifaceted realization, which incorporates water, air, and chemical elements to create a library of living pieces demonstrating active geological and chemical processes,” according to the release.

The Princess Show, nominated by Karen Gross, is a theatre piece of drag performance and anime asthetics with original music, lip-synced dialogue and immersive projection designs. The show follows its protagonist, Princess Edward, on a journey to rescue her beloved, Abel T. Suckizone, while also learning to conquer self-doubt and embrace self-love.

The Sirens’ Calling, nominated by David Diviney, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, is a large-scale public sculptural installation composed of four bisected Greek figures, the backs of each are fully articulated in their archaic style while their fronts are flat, two-dimensional mirror-polished stainless-steel surfaces. The four figures of The Siren’s Calling each face a different direction, inspired by the Cardinal points.

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