Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fine Art Exhibition , “Faces of War” Nov 1 to Nov 19, 2011, Artists: Linda Finn OSA and Lillian Michiko Blakey OSA at the Aurora Cultural Centre

The  collaboration of Linda Finn and Lillian Michiko Blakey for their recent exhibition , Faces of War  at the Aurora Cultural Centre has resulted in a deeply personal and moving mixed media exhibition that gives us two women’s views of war.  It has been a privilege to work with artists of this calibre on such a thought provoking exhibition.   As part of this exhibition the audience is invited to place a crane on the Global Tree for Peace or write a note in memory of a loved one. The audience can also read some of the amazing stories in the  installation piece, A Case for War?  When Linda Finn’s art show, War Letters Project was on exhibition at Gore Bay last month , A Writers' Group on Manitoulin Island met to look at the work, talk about it and do some writing in response.   Linda has invited York Region writers to do the same.
 Creating art for a large, sensitive exhibition is a courageous journey because the artists never know what the reaction will be to their stories.   This kind of sharing invites sensitivity from the viewer.   As we are all aware, great art  speaks to our soul in an intimate way.  There are many powerful pieces  in this exhibition telling each artist family stories and reflecting their personal insights on war. 
 One piece is the TWO-SIDED ACCORDION BOOK  “In My House” by Lillian Michiko Blakey. This is the Story of two little girls, who were neighbours in Vancouver and best friends.  Each one asks her mother the same questions about why Michiko’s family had to leave.  On one side, we have “Michiko’s Story” and on the other side is “Susan’s Story”.  If the pictures are lifted up, there are factual accounts of the events from the perspective of the children. 
An altered book by Linda Finn, “The Mixing Bowl” created through acrylic and collage from a 1916 recipe book contains sensitive insights and quotes and it really is a fascinating read as well as a unique art piece.
Their collaborative sculptural book tells each artists view of their family experience. On one side you have, Who wrote the Law  and on the other side  of the book are Letters from Japan.   It is a testimonial and reminder that through the power of art “we will not forget.”  
The quality of this exhibition is a result of the years each artist has spent dedicated to developing their skills and both award winning artists are recognized nationally for the contributions they have made to contemporary Canadian fine art. 

I would highly recommend this exhibit to all.  “ Faces of War”  continues until Nov 19th at the Aurora Cultural Centre  
Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm or by appointment.

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