NS reviews

Reviews of theatre and art in Nova Scotia and beyond

Colloquy a must-see on its final weekend; plus buy some textiles in honour of Sandra Alfoldy

Top, from left, jade bowl by Wesley Harris; Venice ring by Vicki Ambery-Smith; middle, landscape brooch by Gill Galloway-Whitehead; bottom, vessels by Yusuke Yamamoto and Ndidi Ekubia.

The Mary E. Black Gallery gleams in silver with a must-see metalsmithing show, Colloquy, that wraps up this weekend on the waterfront next door to Pier 21.

Curated by Welsh artists Mary Ann Simmons and Beate Gegenwart and Halifax artist Kye-Yeon Son, the exhibit brings together, according to a news release, “a selected, culturally diverse group of accomplished metalsmiths from the UK and Canada, who have shared ideas and skills from their individual practices for the past two years.”

There are 19 artists and most work in silver. Expect the unexpected in a journey into fine contemporary metalwork from earthy, woven copper vases to exquisite landscape brooches like little paintings in metal.

Most of the artists, who take turns briefly speaking in a video in the gallery, are responding to nature; others are inspired by architecture and art itself.

Quebec knife-maker and sculptor Chantal Gilbert creates fierce, primitive-looking, sculptural wall works as she explores the function of knife objects in history. Brigette Clavette’s sterling silver, graphite and ink on board Apple and Crow 2 has a similar, rugged sensibility and narrative quality as a crow’s gnarly claw stretches towards an apple core. (The New Brunswick artist won the 2022 Saidye Bronfman Award.)

Ontario artist Anne Barros uses brightly-painted sticks from fruit trees as handles for delicate silver spoons. Her work, Burnt Woods, features a candle snuffer lying on a black base. Rising up from the dark earth are metal flowers or tree forms on black sticks as Barros is responding to Ontario forest fires and climate change.

Kye-Yeon Son creates tall, elegant and evocative wire vessels inspired by bare tree trunks and branches during winter. Newfoundland artist Wesley Harris, who had a solo show at the gallery a few years ago, exhibits his finely crafted silverware but also an amazing, shell-like vessel carved out of jade.

If you can get down this Saturday, nearby at NSCAD’s Port Campus, is a textile show and sale of wearable textiles in silk, cotton and wool from Japan, Turkey and India, donated by retired NSCAD professor Robin Muller to raise money for the Sandra Alfoldy Memorial Scholarship. Prices range from $10 to $50. The sale is on this Saturday, May 7, 11 to 2, at 1107 Marginal Rd.

Coming up at the Mary E. Black Gallery, with an opening May 12, 6 p.m., is
Every Bathroom I Have Bathed In 1995 – 2020, an installation of two life-size bathrooms by Newfoundland artist Larry Weyand. According to a press release he “investigates how challenging narratives such as gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia can occupy space within the soft, fluffy boundaries of wool-based craft.”

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