Volume 94, Issue 47
Wednesday, November 22, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Show more than Skin deep
By Tara Dermastja
Nestled behind the bright red doors of the McIntosh Gallery, is a captivating exhibit waiting to be uncovered.
Second Skin, a presentation of art from Jeannie Thib and Kevin Whitfield, creates an atmosphere of peace and comfort for visitors and the chance to step back in time.
Divided between two rooms on the main floor of the gallery, the exhibit is a welcome escape from the rush of the world outside a moment to reflect on memories and to question curiosities. While both rooms address the issues of protecting the body with diverse "tattoos," the way the artists have chosen to experiment with the theme reflects the differences in material use and artistic approach.
Originally from North Bay, Thib's history of exhibitions dates back to 1988. For Second Skin, Thib present three displays, which give visitors a feeling of centuries past. "Model/Mimic" is presented in two wall-mounted glass cases, each holding three pairs of gloves. The gloves, intertwined with designs of nature, are an elegant view of the connection between nature and society.
On a different scale, Thib's "Fret" is a black neoprene rubber curtain impressively spans almost three quarters of the room in length. The curtain, displaying a simple repetitious pattern, has the ability to enchant gallery patrons upon entering the room, due to its size and detail.
Lastly, "Archive," displaying 14 screen prints on sheets of drafting film, is fascinating as an expression of the interaction between the body and what is chosen to decorate it. Pictures of body fragments are filled in with floral print, leaving the viewer to question what one's own body would display if one had a second skin.
In the second room of the gallery, local artist Whitfield's exhibit draws the visitor into a world of familiarity, similar to a feeling of childhood. Life-sized sculptures hang from the ceiling, leaving viewers to venture into a circle of warmth. The stitched words on hand-knit wool outfits created by Whitfield, lead to questions of his history. What was his childhood like? What do the words on the outfits mean? What would they say if someone else had created them?
His past has been scarred into a second skin on the wool and invents such a curiosity that one could spend at least an hour in the room trying to comprehend the words.
On display until Dec. 10, Second Skin is a chance for visitors to the gallery to break away from the present and examine their own second skins. So when the 10 minute break between classes becomes a little longer than usual, or the hustle and bustle of campus life becomes too familiar, venture towards the McIntosh Gallery. Waiting behind the red doors are a few moments of comfort, fond memories and self-discovery.
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