for all
January 13 to February 17, 2002
The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

for all exhibition

publication cover

It's a well-worn scenario - a graduate returns to his hometown, finding things dramatically different than when he left. Following my post-secondary hiatus, I recall a waggish aphorism someone told me upon my homecoming to the Motor City: "In this town you gotta have a hobby or a habit." I chose my diversion. The drawings in this exhibition are products of boredom. It is this same ennui that has inspired art or any labour-intensive activity, for that matter, throughout history.

With these drawings I set out to explore the subtleties and texture of a region I was born, raised and now live. This area has always fascinated me. It is a place that has been formed by many, often conflicting, forces. Oshawa has come to embody the ethos of modernity, in all its promise and doubt. The local economy has prospered from its industrial complex, as the regional heritage and cultural identity slowly eroded. Here, I am reminded of the words of Durkheim and something he diagnosed as "the malady of infinite aspiration." Through drawing, I set out to gauge how the socio-economic conditions of a region effect its citizenry. The background in many of the drawings has dissolved from the pictorial plane. In the distillation process I've chosen to foreground figurative elements: the clothing, the gesture and physiognomy of the regional suburban character.

For me, drawing has always been a discreet pleasure, a meditative space. This is not to say that the works in for all are escapist. In the body of my studio production, the series is the first to use subject-matter that is not remote from myself. In previous works, my stance was an overtly appropriative one; drawing from pre-existing pictorial sources, such as academic paintings, film stills and photographs. Added to the drawings' mediated departure from the original sources, was a cultural distance. The pieces were often derived from Ukrainian and Eastern European visual history. The same spirit informs this latest series, however, a propinquity exists between the drawer and the drawn.