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Sonia Haberstich & Adrian Gorea
Arnica Artist Run Centre
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A piece of wood or cardboard attached to the end of a stick; words or images covering the surface. The protest sign is a peaceful, sometimes angry, always concerned voice. It is often hand-made, creative and personalized. It is carried around, high enough to be seen, denouncing social injustice, government decisions, or corporate abuse. Protestors march on, picket signs in hand. The energy of the crowd is palpable, volatile, powerful.
The protest sign is a strong symbol that provokes reactions, sometimes repression and violence. Conflicts between protestors and other groups often occur. Confrontations with armed forces or the police are commonplace worldwide, and the outcome usually favours the authorities.
Through protest, though, there is hope for change.
While Quebec artist Sonia Haberstich leaves the meaning of her works open to interpretation, their format evokes a specific function – that of the activist marching for social change and wanting to be heard. Her collection of protest signs, abstractly and lusciously painted with vibrant pops of colour, exudes optimism and hopefulness amid (or in spite of) growing global inequality.
Adrian Gorea aka Saints+Adrian
The practical and theoretical foundation of Gorea’s work is derived from extensive academic research theology/philosophy, art history and phenomenology, painting religious icons for churches, and the direct experience of seeing people prostrate before the icons he has created.
Traditionally, the Byzantine icon activates a transformative space where viewers are invited to exchange gazes with the depiction of a holy image that appears to acquire the physical presence of a living person. This iconic vision, however, is a challenging viewing experience in Gorea’s work given the infiltration of contemporary pop icons.
Gorea’s practice involves the fusion of symbols, from Christ to the Apple logo, as a way of highlighting the popularity, meaning, and devotional quality of today’s consumer imagery as well as the concept of consumerism as a pseudo-religion. Produced through the use of familiar, contemporary art techniques, the combination of Byzantine iconographic style and narratives with pop culture icons compels viewers to reflect upon, and potentially rethink, their spirituality in today’s commercialized culture.
Location Information: Arnica Artist Run Centre
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7 West Seymour Street,
nvironment for emerging contemporary artists. Arnica received charitable status in 2008 and is part of a Canada-wide network of artist run centres.
Arnica provides exhibition space for contemporary art that is dynamic, innovative and thoughtful. It also serves as a space for artists to research and develop new work and helps emerging artists in our city, adding to the cultural mix of Kamloops.
Artist Run Centres (ARCs) emerged in the early 1970’s in several Canadian cities.
These venues developed as a response to a lack of appropriate exhibition spaces for artists whose priorities were non-commercial, and were considered too early in their careers to exhibit in institutional or public galleries.
ARCs are not-for-profit societies and are often charitable organizations. They are typically managed by one or more staff and have a Board of Directors comprised mainly of practicing artists. Those ARCs that formed in the 1970’s have access to an operating grant from Canada Council specific to Artist Run Centres. However, this grant is finite, so ARCs that formed in the 1990’s or later survive through application to project grant after project grant.
The underlying premise of Artist-Run Centres is that artists are given creative control of their work rather than being constrained by the demands of the commercial market. Therefore, the work tends to be more experimental and diverse.
Visitors often find the work they encounter in ARCs to be outside the conventional definitions of what art can and should be.