The Task at Hand

October 9, 2008

By Mike Landry
One of Matthew Robertson's scaffolding inspired drawings.

One of Matthew Robertson's scaffolding inspired drawings.

When I was 15-years-old my uncle Noel hired me to help him with some roofing one cool winter’s day. Although the rough and heavy shingles were nightmare inducing, there was nothing I hated more than having to unload, build, move and take down the scaffolding. To this day whenever I look at scaffolding I scowl and shiver.

But when Vancouver-based artist Matthew Robertson looks at scaffolding he sees art. Using pieces of wood reclaimed from construction sites, Robertson has built his own scaffolding inside Vancouver’s Jeffrey Boone Gallery. His exhibition, The Task at Hand, will also feature drawings and large format photographs dealing with scaffolding.

“I like that they’re these large publicly visible structures that are esthetically unconsidered when it comes to designing, and are nice impermanent structures,” says Robertson. “I’ve been studying them, in my own way, trying to decipher why these seemingly bizarre structures to me why and how they function.”

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Abstractions of a Paradigm

October 9, 2008

By Mike Landry
Scott Yoell's "Sometimes it came by road, other times it came by sea."

"Sometimes it came by road, other times it came by sea."

Living in Honokaa, Hawaii Scott Yoell is surrounded by beauty. The former Windsor, Ontario research-based artist moved from Montreal to Hawaii with his wife who was originally from the islands. But even in his little paradise there’s a certain menace under all its beauty.

“Things are great,” says Yoell. “But you can’t help but look down when you’re walking on a beach and see this pile of plastic pouring out of the carcass of a baby albatross. You can’t help but be affected by that, or at least I can’t.”

Yoell’s latest series, Abstractions of a Paradigm, takes the idea of manufactured paradises as its subject. Billed as “fantastical responses to a conflicted world,” Yoell examines the darker side of humanity’s attempt to create unnatural worlds—be it television, excellence in sport or the effects of colonialism.

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