From a ridge Will Gordon can look back and peek at what’s ahead and that’s exactly his plan for his show From the Ridge.
The Colwood artist’s retrospective will feature large paintings and sculpture from the past, slipping in the addition of found objects, to his most recent works created completely with found objects.
“There might be the odd thing of paint on them, but basically just as I found them and I assemble them,” he said. “Technically speaking they can be disassembled and reassembled into another beast. Each one has a particular character.”
Fish skin, spent bullet casings and bones are not uncommon in his works that are bound with wire.
“I use the wire, not just as an attachment device, but also as a drawing, a line in space,” he said.
“It’s a zero footprint … using objects I’ve always found fascinating anyways.”
That was part of the allure for Hailey Finnigan, curator at Metchosin Art Gallery that will host the show starting April 4.
She came across his work in September during the Visions of Metchosin show.
“I love his art, he puts them together in such a mindful way. He combines fantastic colours and shapes. And everything is just so balanced and pleasing to the eye,” she said. “ I love that he is very mindful about his place in consumer culture.”
While she was impressed with his work, he was impressed by the organization, space and rural setting of Metchosin Art Gallery.
“She came and saw all the recent work, and the past work, and said, ‘hey you need to do a retrospective,’” Gordon said.
The show will also kick off The Homage Project – a series of performances around the region.
“Because Will is so environmentally conscious about his art making, he feels that performance art really is the next direction because it doesn’t involve any material at all,” Finnegan explained. “He’s going to be doing all sorts of neat things you can’t do in the gallery because, in a sense, the gallery is limiting,” Finnegan said.
The participatory events will focus on people’s conceptions of what art can be and how it relates to the natural world.
Gordon hopes to do two performance projects – what he’s calling ‘meetings’ – in April.
“The first one is going to be Earth. So there will be a reference to one of those land artists that did work in the ’60s and ’70s,” he explained. “It’s history of art education in part, but it’s being aware or mindful of soil or dirt. … I’m going to invite people to participate in Earth itself.”
People, not necessarily artists, will come out and dig holes, fill holes, and tell stories related to soil.
“Those personal connections make the learning a lot more real,” he said. “It’s trying to integrate everyone, not just artists.”
The website thehomageproject.ca should be online by the show opening tomorrow (April 4).
The show at Metchosin Art Gallery, 4495 Happy Valley Rd. runs April 4 to 28 with the opening celebration on April 6 from 2 to 5 p.m.