A few gems at WORK

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April 23, 2013

WORK: Annual UVic BFA Visual Arts showcase
April 19-27, Visual Arts building, UVic
Free and open to the public

Reviewed by Blake Jacob

The annual UVic Visual Arts showcase, WORK, is taking place until April 29. The show is curated beautifully in the many spacious rooms of the Visual Arts building, and features projects of over 40 undergraduate students. These are young artists who are finding their way, so the works on display demonstrate various levels of maturity. However, interspersed among the studies of marijuana paraphernalia and photographs of pensive-looking cheerleaders are a few unique gems.

One outstanding work is a series of untitled portrait photographs by Claire Aitken. The artist’s knowledge of light and shadow led to the successful execution of captivating photos. The portraits are black and white and  displayed in oversized frames. Several groups of showcase attendees lingered at length near these portraits, discussing them animatedly. It seemed clear that this work was well-received.

Another remarkable piece is an untitled painting by Mia Watkins. The painting is beautiful and jarring at the same time. The artist is attentive to detail and chose a fantastic color palette. Unfortunately, the lighting in the area was a bit dim and didn’t give the piece the justice it deserved.

A third noteworthy work is Brittany Giniver’s portrait series “My Mother at 21.” The work is a series of photographs which are recreations of the subject’s mothers. The subjects are styled, posed, and dressed similarly to the subjects of the original photographs, composed in matching settings. Some of the subjects look very much like their mothers; when they are posed in the same setting, the photos beg a double-take. Other subjects are so dissimilar in appearance to their mothers that the juxtaposition provokes thought. It would have been powerful to see more non-white families in the series, but the work still raises questions despite its lack of diversity.

The showcase is worth a visit to see the memorable pieces that stand out from the crowd.

Blake Jacob is a Vancouver Island poet whose essential nutrients are optimism, wordsmithery, and captivating melody.

 

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