Desjardines examines Pathos
Works by local artist Melanie Desjardines will be featured in a new exhibit called The Pathos of Things (Mono No Aware in Japanese).
The exhibit officially opens March 7 at Rustad Galleria in Two Rivers Gallery.
Desjardines thinks a cultural tour of Japan taken almost three decades ago – but still fresh in her mind – may have led to the creation of unique pieces in her new series. She and others took the tour through the University of Alberta, in 1985.
In her artist’s statement, she says:
“We visited many historical sites, galleries, theatres and took part in traditional ceremonies, observing the discipline of Japanese aesthetics and philosophies.
“Years later, I am convinced that many pieces in this series that I’ve created are largely influenced and inspired by my observations.”
The artist’s fondness for odd and old things may have started with interesting art forms that emerged from the family sheet manufacturing business and from her own “hoarding” habits.
“I’ve always had a fondness for worn and weathered things, and I have to admit, a certain penchant for hoarding them,” said Desjardines. “Much of my collection of experienced items in this series have originated from by products of processes of our sheet metal manufacturing business, in addition to bits and pieces that I’ve found over the years that may have struck my interest. I also find some pretty interesting imagery in pieces of rusted steel found in our sheet metal shop.”
Copper is a favourite, a canvas upon which Desjardines finds that she can experiment with patinas and visual imagery.
“Building this series over the past seven years has been a labour of love for me, created for my own sheer pleasure,” she said. “However, I am now very excited to see it exhibited as a complete body off work and to be able to share it with others. I consider these works ‘living’ art – they’ve already lived, but will continue to live, age, and change with time as we all will.
“A celebration, if you will, of the bitter-sweet realization of life’s impermanence.”
The Pathos of Things (Mono No Aware) exhibit with artwork by Melanie Desjardines opens Thursday, March 7 with an artist’s talk and reception at Rustad Galleria in Two Rivers Gallery. The exhibit will be on display until the end of March.