Scott Price & Corinne Thiessen: Bricolage
Guest Curated by: Diana Thorneycroft + Peter von Tiesenhausen
For the thirteenth year the PAG has partnered with Island Mountain Arts and the Toni Onley Artist Project in Wells, B.C., to provide an opportunity to an emerging artist to have a professionally curated exhibition in a public gallery. For just over a week each year, 20 – 25 artists from across the country are selected to participate in an intensive self-directed studio program led by two senior artists who are hired to guide the nine day program and act as mentors to the participating artists. This past summer we were pleased to have Peter von Tiesenhausen of Demmitt, Alberta, and Diana Thorneycroft of Winnipeg, Manitoba as our two mentors. For the second time in the past thirteen years the mentors were split on their choice and after careful consideration they selected two artists to share this opportunity. I would like to take a moment to thank Peter and Diana for their time, consideration and continued support of this project long after everyone left Wells on July 15th, provide both artists with invaluable feedback, advice and ultimately curating the works featured in this year’s exhibition. This year we are pleased to present for the first time here in Penticton the work of Corinne Theissen of Calgary, Alberta and Scott Price of Whitehorse, Yukon.In consideration of her selection, Diana Thorneycroft writes: “From July 5-15, 2019, Peter von Tiesenhausen and I were mentors-in-residence at the Toni Onley Artist Project in Wells, BC. Out of the 26 artists attending the program, we were asked to select one outstanding artist who would be given a solo show at the Penticton Art Gallery. Due to the extraordinary talent of that year’s participants, we ended up choosing two artists; Scott Price and Corinne Thiessen. As Theissen’s use of the uncanny and the grotesque resonates with my own interests, I am involved in the curatorial selection of her collage paintings shown in their joint exhibition Bricolage.
Although Theissen has been successful applying to competitive international residency programs, she has had less opportunity to show her remarkable work. It is our hope this exhibition at the Penticton Art Gallery will bring her name to the attention of curators looking for a fresh and challenging voice.
Using existing photographs made to promote corporate culture and the fashion industry, Theissen obliterates glossy advertisements with strokes of lush paint, creating a space where her rich and honed dark humour can take over. Like a skillfully trained plastic surgeon, she cuts away extraneous detail and leaves only a hint of the original narrative. It is at this point that she introduces her own content, one that reveals her fascination with “human behavior, sex, cults, freaks, saints and clowns”. We cannot look away. Without really understanding why, Theissen’s collage paintings are familiar to us. The moment our baby eyes are able to focus, our memory banks have been subliminally bombarded by slick, insistent and ubiquitous advertising; we know these images. But something is wonderfully and terribly off. It is the use of the uncanny at its best.“Corinne Thiessen Artist Statement: I draw, write, paint, and make jokes to make sense of meaning and purpose in daily existence. Growing up in a stifling, repressed religion incited my fascination for human behaviour, sex, cults, freaks, saints and clowns. I create kinetic installations that explore the metaphor of Sisyphus and the absurd, conceptions of success, and capitalist expectations surrounding productivity and efficiency. Failure and its outcomes: despair, resignation, relief, and reinvention, is generative to my practice.
Corinne Thiessen Biography: Corinne Thiessen is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She holds an MFA from the University of Lethbridge. Thiessen is curious about human social activity, self-regulation and social control. Through kinetic objects, drawing, video and performance, she explores physical and ideological impediments, repression and “acting out.”
Thiessen has presented in group exhibitions and collaborative performances at home and abroad such as Ortstermin, Berlin; her site-specific installation, Chronic was on view at the Esker Foundation Project Space in spring 2015. Her collaborative drawing performance and installation Liar, Liar! with Amy Modahl has been exhibited at the Petit Trianon, Stride Gallery, Soo Visual Arts Centre in Minneapolis and at the International Performance Festival in Kelowna, B.C. In 2015, Thiessen’s solo exhibition Factory Logic was on view at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.
Thiessen has participated in artist residencies at ZK/U in Berlin, as well as ReMaking, and Mutopia 7 at the Banff Centre. Recent publications with the Museum of Loss and Renewal in Collemacchia, Italy, include representation at the Printing Plant Book Fair in Amsterdam, Netherlands as well as an upcoming publication with MAP Magazine. Thiessen has taught in the Media department at Lethbridge College and in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lethbridge.www.corinnethiessen.ca/aboutIn consideration of the selection of Scott Price’s work, Peter von Tiesenhausen writes: “The work is like a prompt toward a memory, an allusion to something lost in the dust of one’s consciousness. An acquaintance with time, weight and materiality organized in unselfconscious play. The stuff of dreams and hauntings and wit.
For me it is not to understand the work but rather to take note of the musings that arise in the experience of it. Tiny wedges to let the light through.
After seeing Scott’s work at the Toni Onley artist residency in Wells this past summer, it dawned on me that late one night, years ago, after a talk I had given, I’d visited with him in his Whitehorse studio. His way of combining common detritus to create an inexplicable poetry had remained with me almost 2 decades later. I imagined Scott continuing to quietly gain insight and skill while installing the work of countless other artists in the public gallery where he worked as preparator and installer, eventually leading to the acuity of this body of, for me, deeply sensitive, idiosyncratic, and unpretentious work.
When Diana Thorneycroft, my co-mentor, and I were tasked to pick an artist from our participants at the Toni Onley residency for an exhibition in Penticton, we found it impossible. I had at least 2 in mind from a rich selection. Luckily for both Diana and I our first 2 choices were the same. We felt that both Scott Price and Corinne Thiessen deserved a professional platform to present their work and could benefit significantly from the opportunity at this stage in their respective careers.”Scott Price Artists Statement: I’ve spent more than three decades in the boreal forest outside of Whitehorse, Yukon. Living with its ever-present sensual physicality, I bear witness to the sheer wonder and chaos in this natural environment. These natural surroundings are part of me. They are absorbed into my daily life. Yet at the same time, I am regularly confronted by the detritus resulting from human need and consumption.
My work has always focused on the process of finding and assembling. Sourcing objects that find new meanings is foundational to my work. I spend time visit dumps, searching for middens of rusty and abandoned materials, and scour cut lines for new and abandoned slash. I combine and fasten together found objects in a process of repurposing. Metal and wood are linked together through varied forms of attachment, such as wire, screws, and nails.
My works emerge out of my desire to find relationships between the objects and materials I find and use. The works are a process to give new meanings to the discards of others. Finding and recasting each object in a new relationship is a process of removing what is known or expected from each object. And, while I do not aim to imbue each object with new meaning, I do approach the work of assemblage as a means to give the discards of our society new bonds and new relationships.
The body of work presented here was immediate and spontaneous. The objects found and the relationship developed between the materials took place before I could tinker too much with fasteners and add other objects.
There is no right way of looking at or seeing this work. Instead, I hope each piece becomes a conduit to reflect on the objects we as a society discard too freely and pass by without notice.
Scott Price Biography: Scott has lived and practiced art in the Yukon for over 35 years. For the past 17 years, he has worked at the Yukon Art Centre Gallery as the preparator working with artists from Yukon, across Canada, and points international. Scott also installs art as a contractor throughout the Yukon.
Living off grid in the forest outside of Whitehorse from 1984 to 2007, Scott developed a keen sense of his surroundings. The place he called home and the objects found in that environment continue to inform his art practice in the forms and shapes of his assemblages. Creating intuitive work, Scott allows the objects to guide him.
While attending the Dawson City Riverside Arts Festival, he took up the practice of site-specific sculpture. Scott stacked, weaved, and assembled the flotsam and jetsam he found along the shore of the Yukon River, the river that runs North through Dawson City.
Scott has shown in a number of galleries in Whitehorse including the Northern Front Studio, Arts Underground Gallery, and the Yukon Art Centre. In the fall 2004, Scott was the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture Artist in Residency. In 2019, Scott attended the Toni Onley Project Residency where he was invited to show this body of work. For more information on the 2020 Toni Onley Artist Project’s application process, and the scholarships and Bursaries available including the Toni & Bernie Cattani Fund for the Arts, which offers a 50% Bursary for an Okanagan artist, please check out their website: www.imats.com and click under programs. You can also contact Julie Fowler at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening Reception | January 24 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Artist Talk + Tour | Saturday January 25th 1:00 – 2:00 pm