Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dorothy Caldwell Exhibition "SILENT ICE / DEEP PATIENCE" at Art Gallery of Peterborough

Dorothy Caldwell, Walking on Tundra,
silkscreen and discharged cotton, dyed, stitched and appliqué,
66 cm x 134.62 cm, 2013

Once in awhile we here in southeastern Ontario have the special opportunity to view the work of a master. The Art Gallery of Peterborough shares one of the most spiritually moving exhibitions I have walked in many, many years. The sheer insightful impact of the work - huge, ceiling high works that are hand stitched, filled with the magic of the artist's design savvy and the colour, laid on by hand with earth ochre and line - the way only Dorothy Caldwell works.

Stunning collections of rock, shell and rusty iron... magically line up in drawers built specifically to hold them. A large glass case filled with treasured pieces of ephemera collected on walks and journeys in the Canadian Arctic and Australia. Mind boggling miniature collages of leaves, string, marks and colour on paper, hung from long pins in a collective on the wall. Shelves filled with journals - not of written word, but the stories her work tells as she layers the found objects and leaves for dyeing papers and cloth - each shares the "voice" of the artist's expert colouration of paper and cloth with earth's gift of subtle colour.

The art work is masterfully exhibited... along the walls in a long narrow ramp leading down to the main gallery, and in the darkened, serene space of the large lower Gallery. The small pieces speak as loudly as the large, each filled with life as Dorothy marks her journey and shares with each viewer. Pieces of old quilts, bits of silk mounted on her exquisite screen printed fabrics, each small bit salvaged from previous project assemblages and added in to draw you closer. The stitch - magnificently simple.

The sheer joy and awe felt while standing in this gallery is moving enough, but having friends Penny Berens and Hilary Scanlon along to share the adventure made this past Thursday in Peterborough very special.

Please don't miss the opportunity to take the drive to Peterborough a special part of your early summer. Make it a day to share with several pool and/or meet friends there for a walk through. This is an exhibit that children and adults alike should and can enjoy together. Dorothy's work remains through June 22nd, along with several others artists whose work is at the Art Gallery as well... but the Caldwell work in the lower Gallery is NOT to be missed. Ride north from the 401 and pass through Hastings and on to Peterborough - the countryside is truly beautiful. The Art Gallery sits waterside in the downtown, with beautiful lawns to walk, boat rides on the river and a bustling downtown. I highly recommend the Electric Bakery for lunch...within walking distance if you like. Enjoy.


Exhibiting now:
Dorothy Caldwell: Silent Ice / Deep Patience

Beth McCubbin: Material World

Jane LowBeer: Crankees