Friday, September 9, 2011

The Organic Killing of the Group of Seven

Creating to a theme with a timeline establishes parameters.

The new show at Patrick John Mills, entitled, I Killed the Group of Seven, really taxed me. I looked at what I do. I am a keyboard artist. I work with computer keyboards. Fat chance of doing anything remotely to do with landscapes or portraits, oil, canvas or anything that has to do with brushes and careful strokes.

After my brutal assault on Renoir a few posts ago, and since art is due at the gallery over the next couple of days, I came to the conclusion that it really was time to kill the Group of Seven, or El Grupo Siete, as I affectionately refer to them in Spanish.

I started with Tom Thompson, he who never really belonged  to the group, being dead before the group started in 1920. But who really pays attention to this. The Group factored him in. So I killed little Tom first. 

Tom and his paddle. He was found drowned with fishing line was around his feet, not a strand of wool around his neck. A moot point.
And then I looked at the other seven, eight, really, if you count British Columbia's Emily Carr who was born before any of them and who outlasted the majority. She never was considered a part of the group but it is admitted that her work was influential.

So little Em, she was next.
Emily, every inch a lady. She was into that native turquoise thing.

And then I thought, I'd better tackle the rest, Frank Johnston, Lauren Harris, Frederick Varley, Frank Carmichael, Arthur Lismer, J.E. H. MacDonald and old A.Y. Jackson, himself.

I made a series of string dolls out of a variety of materials and originally, was using small foam balls for the heads but when I sprayed them pink, they disintegrated. Tom Thompson is the only actual doll used in the piece because I happened to have an outdoorsy doll that fit to a T.
El Grupo Siete

I think the concept of voodoo dolls impaled by plastic paint brushes is perfect but my execution, perhaps less so.

Still, it's clever and sure to astonish if not amuse.

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