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A visual art collaboration at GPAG

A visual art collaboration at GPAG

In Wait, a visual art collaboration by Vancouver-based Full Circle Collective, runs at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery until Nov. 26. The seven members of the collective—Julie McIntyre, Wendy Morosoff Smith, Heather Aston, Hannamari Jalovaara, Jocelyn Barrable Segal, Milos Jones, and Rina Pita—based their work on the myth of Penelope who waited 20 years for her husband Odysseus to come home from his adventures. While waiting, she was beset by suitors wanting to marry her. To stave them off, she knitted a shroud, telling them once the shroud was finished, she would make her choice. Every night, however, she unraveled part of the shroud, continuing her—and their—wait. The waiting depicted in the almost 200 pieces in the show, however, is of a very different variety as the artists deal with ill family members who are “waiting for the inevitable” and ponder the state of waiting and what that does to one’s mind and body.

The Vancouver-based Full Circle Collective has a show at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery that includes many works that are collaborations, that were passed back and forth with different members adding to them. Photo submitted

For such a heavy sounding theme, the works are actually quite colourful and dynamic, and not at all melancholy. Each artist completed nine 12×12 works on Arches paper on their own, but the rest are collaborations, with one artist starting, then handing it off to another, the work going back and forth until completed. Sometimes multiple artists collaborated on one piece. Images associated with specific artists—for example, Aston’s playing cards, which symbolize her mother passing the time, and McInytre’s “old people furniture” rocking chairs—combine into finished pieces with stories becoming interwoven, a visual tapestry, much like Penelope’s shroud. Jalovaara’s depictions of roots and dividing cells can be seen in many of the pieces, representing “All this activity that you don’t see that is happening inside of you even when you are waiting,” she says in the accompanying video to the exhibit. This video gives an excellent background to the entire three year project and is well worth the 30-minute investment. In it, the artists acknowledge being a little nervous about the collaborations, but recognize that it pushed them into directions they wouldn’t have gone on their own. Given the nuanced complexity of the results, and the hopeful mood of the exhibit, the collaborations are the stars of the show.

In Wait by Full Circle Collective runs at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery until November 26. More information at gpag

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