Art in Stratford

Amber Todd

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This plastered art work is done by a local Ontario artist, Svava Thordis Juliusson. Juliusson had a collection of mixed media artwork at the Stratford Art Gallery. Her collection is called Ourborous etc., (bitter is her name). Juliusson was trying to mix some political ideas as an expression of art and color without being obvious of what the art represented politically (according to the artist biography in the gallery). She uses line, color, shape and abstract form to confuse the audience and make them question what they are looking at and why. This collection had art made of paintings of bronze, plaster, aluminum, wood, and fabric.

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Susan Schelle also had a collection at the Stratford Gallery. Her collection was about nature, weather and the effect it has on us. Schelle explores a mixed-media style where she plays with forms and the way a viewer may look at the artwork. Schelle’s work was interesting because when you changed angles while looking at her work, the art would suddenly change and what it was at face-value becomes much more. This collection was meant to represent the natural environment and how it impacts human environment. Schelle was born in Ontario but has has work shown in Rome, Italy and in many museums in Ontario, including a sculpture at the Toronto Airport called Jetstream.

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These two photos above are from the gallery store in town, Indigena Gallery. Although all of this artwork can be bought in this gallery, I came into the store and learned a lot about the artwork. The photograph of what looks like a dancing bear, is actually carved as seen by the naked eye. Native Canadians carve this out of soapstone, which is a native rock up North. The bear looks like it is dancing, but actually he is stretching. The natives are interested in the forms of the bears when they stretch because it looks like a dance.  The second photo you see is actually carved out of bone, which you can tell by the bone marrow. The lady at the gallery told me that it is most likely whale bone. She also told me that they have special shipments of art work come in from up North only on plane every three months. Most of the work comes from Nunavut, which is extremely North.