Feast for the Prince
New works by Gary Blundell

Gary Blundell graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1983, with an Honours B.Sc. in Earth Sciences.  His fascination with the natural world reaches back into childhood.  From a very young age he noticed and studied the world around him, the soil and stone beneath his feet and the sky above.  He pondered passage of time, the elements and their relentless effect on the surface of our world.  He pondered the patterns that these forces created, and continually altered.  He also pondered the human presence within this natural realm, the intrusive hand of man, altering and scarring the surface of this planet, and the unending battle for natural order to reclaim and rebuild from season to season.

The creative process for these pieces began with a router.  With both conscious control and the occasional "accidents", the artist's hands wielded the power tool to create recessions, patterns within the wood.  Gary acknowledges the pivotal impact of late Canadian artist Peterson Ewen, in introducing him to this approach.  There is a palpable physicality in these large wooden paintings  The rigorous act of gouging into the wood is evident, retained in each piece.  Gary then applies acrylic plasters, in varying thickness, to specific areas on the wood; a partial rebuilding of the surface.  A tearing away is followed by a building up.  Overlays of oil paint are then applied, exuding rich and vibrant colour, pulled from the varied pallette of the earth itself.

In FEAST FOR THE PRINCE the artist expands his work to include works based on the hanging and curing of meat.  "I have begun to see the surface of the earth as a kind of flesh, something that reminds me of my own body; the tearing away of rock and soil by wind and water as equivalent to my own aging and deterioration." (Artist Statement, 2012).
Seven paintings reveal this process, depicting hanging portions of locally farmed or caught Moose, Deer and cattle.  The exposed inner layers of flesh in works such as Husk and display are clinically visceral; this was the stuff of a living thing, blood once coursed through that tissue.  Two or three flattened areas of pure colour provide a simplified yet charged backdrop for the animal segments, causing them to leap forward into the viewer's eye and mind.  The artist confirms an homage to the past with this series, drawing inspiration from Rembrandt's Carcass of Beef or Flayed OX of 1655, and the Beef Carcas paintings of the early 20th century by Chaim Soutine.

FEAST FOR THE PRINCE opens on October 4th and runs to October 28th.  The vernissage is Thursday October 4th from 6 - 9 pm. 

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