By Stacey Ho
One of Jerry Ropson's many lists from his new exhibition.

One of Jerry Ropson's many lists from his new exhibition.

A brief list of some of the items in Jerry Ropson’s upcoming exhibition, Hollow cores, other findings and one last chance: drawings, framed and unframed; drawings done on glass with vinyl; “There” prints depicting wooden shacks, smoke, piles, and other personal symbols of his native Newfoundland; black on black “Here” prints, featuring lists, himself and another character in the process of various tasks; axes that double as metre sticks; bottles; ice with messages frozen inside, molded into bottles; flags with scraps of love letters left in sidewalk cracks; tubes with secret messages written inside them; ladders; a worktable covered with pseudo-scientific notes and experiments.

“It’s funny,” says Ropson. “I had all these notions of what it’s about. There’s so much going on, anyone coming in and responding to the work will take away different things.”

This open-ended practice appeals to Ropson, as it draws others into his personal process, with an emphasis on chance encounters and happenings. Within the gallery, viewers are meant to tamper and interact with the space. Within the city of Montreal, flags, ice bottles and other tokens will be left around personal sites of significance. Ropson’s list-writing gives another glimpse of the small, fleeting things that make up his thoughts and life.

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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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