SAB Series: Looking Up

Authored by: WAG Staff on February 24, 2014

Simon Hughes, Fractured Monochrome #4, 2011

As a student living in Winnipeg, I was exposed to Inuit art from an early age. I had the opportunity to see stone and ivory sculptures, wall hangings, and prints produced by Inuit artists. However, my favourite thing to see in art is some form of juxtaposition. The exhibition Looking Up is an intriguing mix of pieces created by Winnipeg artists and Inuit artworks from the WAG's collection. What I love about this is that it isn't just about being inspired by the Inuit art at the WAG, it also displays the work that inspired them.

One of the pieces that struck me right away was Fractured Monochrome #4 by Simon Hughes, mostly because it is big, glossy, and bright blue among the quieter colours of the exhibition. Also because I'm a sucker for anything bold and geometric. Although I'm not quite sure of Hughes’ intentions for the painting, I personally think it looks like cracking ice, which is quite appropriate since there's ice pretty much everywhere in Manitoba. The white shapes fade lucidly into an icy blue, and get darker and darker until they meet the ominous underlying turquoise, achieving the illusion of a never-ending sea.

Another piece that I admired was Riot in My House by Paul Robles. From afar, it looks like an odd collection of shapes and colours, but a taking a few steps closer will make you realize that it is intricately cut paper. I love that Robles utilizes fire to achieve a sense of destruction in the otherwise dainty piece, which makes it live up to its name. Those who have excelled in I-Spy in their childhood might have picked up right away that the burn marks make the shape of a skull. To me, it looks like a sugar skull from the Day of the Dead Celebration in Mexico.

When I had analyzed the entire exhibition, I really wanted my friends to see it. Many of the young people who visit the WAG, like myself, are always looking for something fresh to spark our imaginations and tickle our fancies. I think this is just the antidote for the numbness that comes with un-inspiration that a lot of artists deal with sometimes. Not only are there many great pieces by Inuit artists, but there’s also work by Winnipeg artists. Quite simply, this exhibition caters to almost everybody’s tastes and I deeply suggest that everyone should take advantage of Looking Up while it’s here at the art gallery.

Hanna Reimer

Hanna Reimer is a high school student involved in the Student Art Board at the WAG and the masterclass program at Paradise Found Art School.

This post is part of our ongoing WAG Student Art Board blog series. The Student Art Board (SAB) is a select group of high school students that are involved with the WAG. This blog series is intended to offer a teenager's perspective on the art currently on display at the WAG.

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