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L.A. Beat

Anderson inspired by supernatural for Every Good Boy Does Fine exhibit at Casa

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Saskatoon based artist Joseph Anderson found inspiration in the illustrations in children’s books as well as Biblical stories for his new exhibit, “Every Good Boy Does Fine” which opens at Casa main gallery tonight, Sept. 9.Joseph Anderson presents Every Good Boy Does Fine at Casa . Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s about the idea of judging good versus bad behaviour. Children’s stories have a lot of moralization built into them like  Hansel and Gretel is about don’t talk to strangers and don’t wander off alone,” Anderson observed, adding his exhibit of watercolour paintings  was inspired by the illustrative style of children’s books.

“So even if you can’t understand the text, you know what is happening,” he said.
“I was also inspired by Biblical parables or cautionary tales,”  continued Anderson who earned his MFA at the University of Saskatchewan and his undergraduate BFA degree at the U of L in 2000.

 His works have a supernatural tone to them. And there are a few musical references reflecting the Every Good Boy Does Fine title.
“ They come the piano lessons I took,” he said indicating a piano keyboard on one of his works.

“I was reading a lot of Grimm Fairy Tales. I also did six new  works which are specifically about gothic ghost stories I was reading,” he said, adding one was inspired by the Barnwell school where I went to school. There was a legend that there was a ghost  named Tom who lived there. And when they closed the school, I wondered where he would go,” Anderson continued, noting he never saw the ghost when he was  attending elementary school.

The longest work in the exhibit was inspired by Henry James’ 1898 novella “Turn of the Screw.”

“It’s the longest work I’ve ever done. It’s about a governess who goes to work with two toddlers who has a feeling it is haunted and isn’t sure if they can sense it. It’s frustrating because the story is unresolved. But they made an opera about it, so I was listening to that when I did the work,” he said.
Anderson wants the viewers to create their own narrative about a display of bizarre paintings on one wall, featuring children encompassed by a variety of unusual objects.
“I want people to create their own narratives for these,” he said.

A side piece  features ceramic sculptures Anderson created about 10 years ago.
“On first look, they look like the sorts of ceramics you’d find at your grandmother’s house but if you look closer, they‘re a little odd,” Anderson said.

 The other exhibit in the main gallery is “Harbinger,” from new local artist Bryan Wiebe.

 “He’s completely self taught and created all of these works with nothing but the humble toothpick,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.
“He just came to me asking for some advice and as soon as I saw them, I had to do a show with him. Because it isn’t often you see an completely self taught artist with no artistic background like this,” Logan enthused.
“ he has a lot of interest in alternate theories of thought  like Masonry, Templarism and conspiracy theories,” Logan said.
 The opening reception for these two exhibits and Elders of the Future, which is all over Casa, is  7-9 p.m. tonight. Admission is free. The exhibits run at Casa Sept. 9 -Oct. 21.

—  by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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