Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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8

May

2021

Visualizing invisible dangers

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday May 6, 2021

 

The Kelowna Art Gallery is hosting a show about nuclear exposure, until July 18. 

            The gallery’s promotional leaflet says, “BOMBHEAD is a thematic exhibition organized by guest curator John O’Brian that explores the emergence and impact of the nuclear age… encompassing the pre- and post-war period from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daachi in 2011.”

            It’s not just about nuclear war, although the visual images do include mushroom clouds and flattened cities.

            It’s also about the invisible threat of nuclear radiation.

            I felt that the exhibit failed. 

            BOMBHEAD is a visual arts display. But how does an artist portray something invisible?

            What you can’t see CAN hurt you. 


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27

Mar

2019

How not to create a masterpiece

Author: Jim Taylor

At an art show, I chatted with an artist. In her studio, she explained, artists painted collectively.

            I found that hard to comprehend. “Don’t you get upset when someone meddles with your vision?” I asked.

            “Sometimes,” she agreed. “If I’ve done a canvas built of blues, say, and someone plops a blob of orange into it. But then my blues take on a different mood.”

            She clearly believed her creed – many minds can work together for common benefit.

            I like the idea of working together in a community. For one thing, it’s much more enjoyable than working alone. But I can’t imagine a dozen different painters producing a Van Gogh or a Rembrandt. (A Picasso, possibly.)

            Perhaps my skepticism results from working with words. After 60 years, I’m convinced that editing by committee never produces a better text. Never. Friend and fellow-writer Isabel Gibson called “group editing” the “most pernicious form of compromise known to humans.”


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