A touring exhibition presenting the work of three Vancouver based artists, curated by Katharine Stout for The Drawing Room.
The title of the exhibition refers to the most widely exported television series made in Canada. Shot in British Columbia during the 1970s and 80s, the sitcom followed the life stories of a multicultural cast of characters who made their living salvaging runaway logs along the BC coastline. This group of artists are beachcombers of popular culture, taking inspiration both in subject matter and form from the regional and global culture that surrounds them. The work is hybrid - they share a humorous attitude and a lightness of touch which distinguishes them from an older generation of Vancouver artists.
Geoffrey Farmer often takes film as his subject matter, in order to explore the personal, intellectual, sexual and humorous aspects of a production and its social reception. In his work, Hunchback Kit, 2000, he uses his long standing fascination for the Hunchback of Notre Dame, to create a collection of more than 90 items examining the improbable question of monstrous beauty. Farmer has exhibited extensively in Canada including solo exhibitions at the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery, 2002 and Catriona Jeffries Gallery, 2000. He has also participated in the Melbourne International Biennale, 1998.
Brian Jungen often examines his own history - that of the Canadian Aboriginal people - in his work. Early drawings explore perceived, stereotyped imagery of Native people. In a recent project he deconstructs Nike trainers, and remakes them into startling recreations of aboriginal Northwest Coast masks, transforming one cultural icon to another. Jungen's recent exhibitions include: Shapeshifter, Or Gallery, Vancouver, 2000 and a group exhibition at the Power Plant, Toronto, 2001.
Myfanwy Macleod uses characteristic humour, combined with sharp wit, to explore the world of cartoon and filmic imagery. She engages self help books, film comedy and consumer experience to shape an ambivalent mock therapy, using video, drawings and sculpture. In twelve rapidly executed drawings, MacLeod quotes comic film fragments from silent movies which are then simplified and translated to take the form of subtly ambiguous and humorous cartoons. Macleod's recent solo exhibitions include: Miss Moonshine, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, 2001 and How not to be seen, VTO Gallery, London, 2000.
The Beachcombers toured to the following venues:
Middlesbrough Art Gallery: 16th November 2002 - 12 January 2003
Mead Art Gallery, University of Warwick: 15 February - 14 March 2003
The exhibition and its tour is one of the first projects presented by The Drawing Room. This non-profit organisation was initiated in Summer 2000, in association with Tannery Arts, the established artists' studio complex in London, by Mary Doyle, Kate Macfarlane and Katharine Stout, to focus on the importance of drawing in contemporary visual arts practice.
Saturday 3rd July, 3pm
Geoffrey Farmer, Brian Jungen and Mfanwy Macleod held a conversation with Katherine Stout at Gasworks.
As part of The Beachcombers Gasworks hosted two sessions with children from local schools in conjunction with the education department at Tate Britain. To see images click here.