Aug 29 - Dec 24, 2020 Douglas family art centre

Cheryl Wilson-Smith: 21 Pillows

This fall The Muse is delighted to present 21 Pillows at the Douglas Family Art Centre. This interactive exhibition is the sole creation of award winning glass artist Cheryl Wilson-Smith.

As former resident of Kenora, Wilson-Smith has a strong connection with the water and land of our northern Ontario landscape. Having made Red Lake her home for decades, she has integrated the conflict between a pristine wilderness and a gold mine.

Wilson-Smith has created an interactive exhibition "... that would express my anger at what we do to the land, and the water, especially here in the north, supplying the south with minerals and money but at a large expense to us that often goes unseen.

21 Pillows is a recreation of this rugged land in glass, a medium that is at once fragile and strong. Dark blue painted walls create an atmosphere of dusk or early dawn. 21 large format pillows adorned with ten thousand hand crafted glass stones are to be handled, tinkled (made for sound) and moved amidst the call of ravens on the wind. "... there is a moraine north of Red Lake that I love...miles and miles of those perfectly round rocks in a winding heap through the bush ...its one of my favourite spots. That was my inspiration...it evolved slowly from there..."

Visitors are encouraged to touch and move any or all of the stones and pillows as they are inspired, leaving their trace on the landscape.  "To realize by moving a rock, throwing a stone in the water, I am altering the environment. So in my show, by moving the stones we are all altering the environment, for better or worse, we are all participating."

21 Pillows is organized and circulated by Thunder Bay Art Gallery with the financial assistance of the Ontario Arts Council.

Did you know?

Many of the properties in the Kenora area were originally gold claims— the properties on Hilly Lake were originally gold claims owned by inventor Thomas Edison

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