Art to Check Out (Petroglyphs, a Gay Kiss, and a Belt of Stone, Coral, and Bone)

My writing has been minimal the last couple months, partially due to my wedding and honeymoon, but I’ve been absorbing some old favourites and new discoveries in the art world. I encourage you to follow the links to view the works on their websites or gallery pages.

The first is someone I’ve been following for awhile, a well known and well established local with connections to the art school my spouse and I attended. Alan Syliboy is a Mi’kmaq artist whose had a tremendous impact near and far, with stunning and dynamic work which showcases traditional Indigenous petroglyphs. I recently had the honour of viewing ‘Red Mask Looking Through the Milky Way‘ in-person and was blown away by the power of how large the canvas was and how intimate the experience was of being face to face with the looker of the painting.

I’ve been mostly viewing art lately, though I’ve tried to take up a practice of daily observational sketching. I haven’t had the energy or inspiration for any projects, but hopefully soon. I’ve been looking through one of my ‘exploration’ sketchbooks whose colours are heavily inspired by the following artist.

Tabaimo is a Japanese contemporary visual artist who creates elaborate hand drawn animation shown as video installations. Her style simultaneously has a new and old feeling, incorporating styles both from traditional woodblock prints and anime/manga (all artforms I adore). I first learnt of her from a still that was displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum of Art from ‘Japanese Bathhouse-Gents‘, slide #2 in this article. Somehow the vintage colour palette caught my eye first. Fluid lines, balance between style and realism, delicate colours, the visual aspect of her art is as thoughtful as the meaning behind it, often socioeconomic critique. Unfortunately, I’ve found her online presence fairly elusive.

Lastly, who inspired this post, today I came across the work of Denise Wallace, Indigenous Alaskan jewelry-maker, specifically this belt. It’s named ‘Origins, Roots, and Sources: Past, Present, and Future’. Another that I love is the ‘Yup’ik Dancer Belt‘. The faces in her jewelry have simple lines yet are so expressive, further framed and contrasted by detailed ornamental elements. Each figure is honoured as an individual while tying into the others in the set. When looking at the materials used, the delicate use of different stones, bone, coral, and metal creates an intricate cohesion within the figures, just as each one creates cohesion in the whole. Her work is spiritual and tied to culture and nature. She has another gallery page here.

Thank you for reading, if you like these artists, consider supporting them on social media or promoting their work. No matter how small you think you’re audience is, if one person brings one other person to view a piece they might not have otherwise – they are participating in spreading art.

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