New exhibits opening at Casa explore barbed wire , memory and house music


Lethbridge based artist Adrian Cooke explores the design and history of barbed wire in his new exhibit “Chasing the Devil’s Rope,” one of five new exhibits opening at Casa tonight, Jan. 13.Local artist Adrican Cooke features his exhibit Chasing the Devil’s Work at Casa. photo by Richard Amery
“Chasing the Devil’s Rope” features sculpture and computer generated watercolour prints inspired by the shape of barbed wire, reflecting the historical role of the  product and it’s design.

“ Which was first used as a means of dividing property and controlling and isolating people and animals. Further, it was used as a tool of repression and manipulation in times human conflict. A man-made creation, barbed wire encroaches and divides, transforming our interaction with the landscape,” according to Cooke’s artist statement.

“ Some of the pieces go back seven years,” Cooke, said, noting some  of the original designs were inspired by the work he did  on the decor for Backstreet West.

“Barbed wire has political connotations for First Nations and dividing nature But part of what I was interested in was more the design of it,” he said.
“ Even the shadows of the pieces are important,” he noted, adding some of the horn shaped pieces have a violent connotation.
“ they are very physical.”

He created the sculptures  with OSB board and a digital printer. Two longer watercolour works were hand drawn, scanned and printed  by computer have a wallpaper effect.
 The larger sculptures are layered OSB board designed like pieces of barbed wire. Cooke worked at the U of L for 28 years in various capacities including  with the U of L art gallery.

 There are several other exhibitions  opening  at Casa this weekend, including one by Bragg Creek born, Brooklyn educated  Ryan Smitham and Yasunari Izaki called “Accumulation of memory, ”  in the other half of  the main gallery, Brooklyn artist Yasunari Izaki was delayed by a flight from Brooklyn so will be arriving at the last minute to set up the exhibit in time for the opening reception tonight 7-9 p.m. at Casa.
 It  is an exploration of objects which reflect memory and time such as tree rings reflecting time through tree rings.


 In the Upper Concourse Japanese  physician/ artist/ author Dr. Junichi Saga has an exhibit  on Japanese painting and calligraphy inspired by some of his patients, organized by his daughter Tomoko Greenshields who lives in Lethbridge.

 Also Upstairs, there are paintings  by local artists John Chief Calf, exploring First Nations issues and Sudbury born artist Valerie Furgason’s display of digital photos and drawings.
Local artist  Craig Talbot recently discovered  house music, so he  created an exhibit of surreal automatist paintings and crafts inspired by his discovery of various aspects of the music which are on display in the opening concourse.

 The opening reception for the Casa exhibits is 7-9 p.m., Jan 13. They run until Feb. 17.

 A new exhibit also opens at Blueprint tonight. Disposition features the work of local artist Jacqueline Addison who examines the symbiotic relationship between human touch and natural form through the medium of photography.
 Hermitess, aka songwriter / harpist Jennifer Crighton of the Devonian Gardens will be performing as well.

 — by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor