2006 Past Exhibitions

November 14, 2006 - December 22, 2006
"Sea Dung"
Jennifer Oille-Sinclair, Newfoundland

The StFX University Art Gallery is pleased to present Sea Dung , a series of digital prints exploring the zone between places by artist Jennifer Oille-Sinclair. Jennifer came across the term Sea Dung in Frank Parker Day’s 1928 novel, Rockbound, where seaweed is used as a fertilizer.

Jennifer Oille-Sinclair was born in Toronto and in recent years has been dividing her time between Toronto and Wesleyville, Newfoundland; as of next year, she will leave Toronto for St. John’s. Jennifer has a BA in Modern History from the University of Toronto, and a MA and  M. Phil in Russian Studies, both from the University of Sussex, England.  She founded and was editor of "Provincial Essays", a series of monographs and anthologies devoted to Canadian visual culture. In addition to curating exhibitions, Jennifer was the Ontario editor for Vanguard magazine as well as a contributing writer for numerous cultural publications including C-Magazine and Art forum. She is currently represented by the Christina Parker Gallery in St John’s, NLFD. For more information on the artist and her work please visit the gallery website at http://www.christinaparkergallery.com.

Oille-Sinclair has called upon her expertise as a curator and critic to present an exhibition that is literally on the edge. Along the high tide line of a rugged Newfoundland beach, Jennifer, the artist, has found and created an arena where Jennifer, the curator and critic, explores and juxtaposes nature, artifice, the symbolic, the found, and the contrived. In this collection our Orwellian mistrust of images, especially of photographic digital images, is teased along with the realization that there is no symbolism which is not contrivance. As Picasso is said to have said, "Art is a lie that allows us to realize the truth".

Like a beachcomber, Jennifer has found herself at the edge of the ocean looking for items of interest. "Flotsam and jetsam" is a nautical term used to describe the debris found following a shipwreck. Flotsam is the debris from the wreck itself while jetsam is the stuff deliberately jettisoned to lighten the ship prior to the event. To the modern collage maker, and much of modern art is collage, images are like flotsam and jetsam.

The moment an image is created, it streams into a vast reservoir where the image’s intended function may be changed at any time.  Images are gathered, altered, juxtaposed, and given new meaning. Jennifer does this quite deliberately, and unlike the surrealist, her images have the plausibility of an awakened state. If nothing else she is a realist and in her images the line between what occurs naturally and what she creates is barely discernable. It is at this juncture that she and, by extension you and I, are at our most vulnerable and perhaps our most human. It is in this brief moment before meaning is ascribed that we get to start all over again.

October 10, 2006 - November 12, 2006
"The Human Face of South Asia"
John Berridge

Artist Statement:

I first visited South Asia over forty years ago when a friend and I motored from Paris to the southern tip of India, traveling through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and over the Khyber Pass to Pakistan and India. I have returned often to the subcontinent, most recently in 2000 and again in 2001. The main focus of these recent visits has been photography, a passion which has evolved in tandem with my love for this fascinating and complex region. My images are varied, but I am happiest when photographing people.

Over the years I have been able to put my hobby to good use in a variety of ways. For thirty years I taught courses in World Religions at St. Francis Xavier University. Especially at a time when visual aids were difficult to come by, it was useful to have a collection of images which shed light on the religion and culture of  South Asia.  In preparing a course on Religion in Modern India, I came to admire the Bengali song-writer and poet Rabindranath Tagore. In 1997 I published The One and the Many. Readings from the Work of Rabindranath Tagore, a book which combines readings from Tagore with my own photographs of India and Bangladesh. Recently, I have visited and photographed people associated in a variety of ways with non-government organizations in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal - organizations with which graduates of the Coady International Institute are associated.         

In setting out to make photographs which tell something of South Asia’s human story, the challenges are undoubtedly greatest in urban centers. In cities one is confronted by the “sensory overload” which every visitor to this region experiences. Precisely because one is surrounded by an infinite number of potentially good photographs, isolating subject-matter demands  time, patience, a great deal of foot work,  an openness to the unexpected – and a healthy sense of adventure!    

Although I feel very comfortable working in densely populated cities such as Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), I particularly enjoy spending time in villages. I have always found the villagers to be extremely generous and hospitable.  Picture-making often ends up being a group project in which everyone is happily involved, including the children.  (Pied Piper-like, wherever I go I attract a host of friendly and curious children of all ages - who then serve as fine travel companions and assistants!)

Anyone engaged in portrait photography in this part of the world is presented with a wealth of beautiful and interesting faces. And an abundance of vibrant colors coupled with wonderful natural light makes South Asia an ideal location for color photography.   

It is my hope that these informal portraits of but a very few of the common people of South Asia’s cities and villages may serve to make this part of the world seem a little less remote.

The sixteen abstracts studies which have been included in the exhibit are part of a recent self-assigned project in which I have been exploring what can be created when I use colored glass as the subject-matter of my photography. Although my primary concern has been to create harmonious compositions which display a pleasing and interesting arrangement of colors, lines, shapes, and texture, in some cases the images do in fact suggest (often in a very subtle fashion) something concrete. But the interpretation of such images is clearly a very personal matter. I have therefore deliberately left the photographs untitled, thereby inviting the viewer to use his or her imagination in approaching each image. Or, one can give one’s imagination a rest and simply focus instead on the interplay and juxtaposition of form, light, and color in the photographs.

September 26, 2006 – October 8, 2006

Nitapaq Wikual - From The Homes of My Friends

Group Show

An invitational art exhibition from the private collections of NS Mi’kmaq Educators, StFX B.Ed Alumni of Visual Arts 1999-2006, Friends and Families

In Honour of Treaty Day, Mi’kmaq History Month and StFX Homecoming 2006

Co-Organised by the Office of the StFX Aboriginal Student Advisor

August 1, 2006 – September 9, 2006
"Familiar Strangers"
Cara Jones, Antigonish

The StFX University Art Gallery was very pleased and proud to finish our 2006 summer season with "Familiar Strangers", an image installation of Antigonish faces by local artist Cara Jones. 

"Familiar Strangers" is about neighborhoods and seeing past the expectations of our routine. Each of us has a daily pattern and naturally these templates overlap.  We often see the same people at the same time or in the same place.  Often we know very little about each other, yet through each others’ presence we find comfort, familiarity, and a sense of place and belonging. Cara’s work investigates human interactions and the boundary between the artist and subject.  

This installation consists of forty-four paired 12"X18" black and white photographic portraits hung at various heights from the gallery ceiling. Visitors are encouraged to walk among the images as if encountering strangers.  On the walls surrounding the hanging portraits are colour photographs of popular local buildings and landmarks in Antigonish.  The colour photographs distinguish the local landmarks from the portraits, enhancing the viewer’s experience of visiting a small rural town and coming face to face with the local people.

July 10, 2006 – July 28, 2006

Antigonish Area Artists
Group Show

"Antigonish Area Artists at the StFX Art Gallery" marks the current period of unprecedented growth in the local arts community. Anchoring and nurturing this activity has been the StFX Art Department, and the StFX and Lyghtesome Art Galleries. This ensuing art scene reached a critical mass when, under the auspices of StFX’s Enterprise Development, the community established the Guysborough Antigonish Pictou Arts and Culture Council (GAPACC).

With over 65 artists in this exhibition, the show cannot help but be…. vibrant…. exciting… and informative. Even more so when we consider that this exhibition coincides with opening of GAPACC’s 9th annual “Gathering of the Arts". Not bad for a small seaside town, but now what?

Well for starters, more and more artists are able to find a lively-hood in the area’s arts economy. Younger artists are staying or returning after art and crafts training and as the area offers an increasingly attractive lifestyle, other artists are or will be calling this place home. Small businesses are providing secondary exhibition venues and area artists and their arts council are involved in developing our Public Library. It is not beyond the carrying capacity of the current visual-art community to develop an artist-run gallery. These are very interesting times.

May 9, 2006 – June 16, 2006
Traveling Light -Watercolours and Pastels
Garry Hamilton, Cape Breton

The StFX University Art Gallery was very pleased to begin its 2006 Summer Exhibition Season with "Traveling Light", a display of watercolours and pastels by Cape Breton artist Garry Hamilton.

Garry is a plein air painter. His art is about capturing mood, light, and place. The StFX show consists of 45 recent pieces done while traveling in Mexico, a sea cruise around the British Isles, parts of mainland Nova Scotia, and short jaunts in Cape Breton. Of the title for this exhibit Garry says "In keeping with my habit of keeping my travel painting gear light enough to fit into a backpack along with a fold up easel and my focus in painting which is light and shadow, the show is called Traveling Light”. With this in mind, it is no surprise that the artist writes and illustrates a bi weekly column called “Trippin with Garry” for the Cape Breton Post. Indeed, the show will include scenes he has described in his column such as the search for the blue footed booby on the Marrietas Islands and the Mexican rodeo in Puerto Vallarta.

Well known within the art scenes of Sydney and Northeastern Nova Scotia, Garry is enjoying a growing North American reputation as a superb colourist. Since 2002 he has been juried into and won awards in a  growing number of watercolour competitions such as Canada’s  SCA, (Societe de l’Aquarelle) and the CSPWC (Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour). In America Garry has exhibited with the WSA, (Watercolor Society of America), NEWS (the North East Watercolor Society), TWSA, (the Transparent Watercolor Society of America), the Adirondack Exhibition of American Watercolors, NWWS (the Northwest Watercolor Society), and the Lexington Art League.

Hamilton was born in Canada. He is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. He also did advanced art studies at Concordia University and McGill University. He was also a full- time cartoonist at the Montreal Star as well as a free lance book illustrator. He has been a full time art instructor at Sheridan College, Oakville Ontario, Dawson College Montreal, PQ and MacKenzie College, Sydney, NS.  Garry retired from teaching in 2000.

For more information on the artist and to see some of his images please visit his GAPACC member’s website at: http://www.gapacc.ns.ca/

September 23 – October 5, 2003

Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection

In celebration of Home Coming 2003 & the 150th Anniversary of StFX.

February 15, 2006 - March 10, 2006
Exhibition: Art @X Art Dept. Student Show

The Art Dept Student Show featured various pieces from students at StFX who were enrolled in courses within the Art Department.

January 5, 2006 - February 12, 2006
"A Time for Talking: A Time for Silence"
Catherine Moir, Baddeck NS

The StFX University Art Gallery was pleased to begin its 2006 Season with Catherine Moir’s "A Time for Talking; a Time for Silence".  Catherine, a scenic oil painter, lives in the Baddeck area. For this exhibit she has assembled over 40 paintings. 

A professional artist since 1971, Moir moved from Halifax to Cape Breton in 1984. It was during her employment delivering the mail along rural routes in the Iona area that she began to focus on landscape painting.  Of the period Catherine notes: "The scenery, with all its changes implored me to paint as I drove through some of the most beautiful places in Cape Breton every day. Working outside I am in communication with the scene, the light, the clouds, rain, wind, trees, everything. While I’m working I’m being affirmed or reprimanded, learning constantly. There is great joy as well as frustration, sometimes peace; finally, hopefully, it’s right."  

Catherine spent the winter of 2004 in solitude and contemplation in an old farm house on the Washabuck Peninsula in the middle of the Bras d’Or.  "A Time for Talking; a Time for Silence" is focused around a suite of twelve paintings the artist created during this period. Catherine writes: "This was a time for prayer, meditation and of course for painting. It was wonderful to have a long period of time to be completely alone."


In 1999 Catherine had a solo show at Cape Breton University, Gallery I. She has exhibited regularly in the Cape Breton Artists Association organized UCB Gallery II. Catherine has also shown at Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish and several other galleries in Nova Scotia. She worked as the facilitator and curator for the Visual Art Series during the Celtic Colours Festival for the past three years and as the coordinator for "Peer Consultancy" a professional development program for Cape Breton Artists. For more information of the artist please visit her website at http: //bighillretreat.com/artwork .