Bearing Witness: Totems Of Communication, Propeller Centre For The Visual Arts
There are many visual objects in our daily lives that simply blend in to the background without jolting our consciousness at all. It is one of these objects that are so adeptly expressed in this exhibit. The hydro pole, not the newer very slick concrete poles that are now used, but the old wooden poles of days gone by. You know, the poles that still occupy much of the urban landscape, often plastered with announcement bills stapled to their coarsely hewn skins. In fact it is the random peppering of these staples that occupies much of the aesthetic of Pat's tableaus. She uses a mixed media photo process which lends itself well to her subject matter.With a little tongue in cheek she has taken the poles out of the urban setting and placed them in Group Of 7 and Emily Carr settings. Her pictorial representations show them not only as a functioning hanger to carry electricity, but also as a place of rest for natural phenomena, birds, snow and ice. She depicts them as objects of romantic beauty standing stoically in the softness of a moonlit evening. What really steals the show though is an actual, cleverly placed, section of one of these totems to urban function.