Electric Cedar, Hemlock Blues…

19 October 2016

By Sara Korzec

From September 16th till October 22nd Field Contemporary hosted an exhibition titled Electric Cedar, Hemlock Blues by artist Cameron Kerr. A small group of sculptures, presented in a clean and minimalist arrangement in the gallery space quickly enveloped the viewers senses with the fresh scent of timber–Kerr uses wood salvaged from logging waste on northern Vancouver Island. It was difficult to control yourself and not want to touch them, as it seemed that they spoke some sort of haptic language. The leaking glaze on the geometrical sculptures resembled ceramics, (an epoxy method created this impression) which for me, triggered associations of fever visions–well, now you understand why the works were titled, Hallucinations.   

Kerr used an oxymoronic narrative to connect the works throughout the show, as was defined in the title of the exhibition, incorporated with a sense of playfulness. Because of this gesture, it was hard not to describe them as surreal. The works were simple, though not typically minimal, and seemed able to speak, thus invoking feelings of gaiety, and, yes, frankly some sort of blues, as thinking often does. The patterns played with the viewers eyes quite literally as an optical illusion can, using zigzags and op-art-like compositions with Kerr’s material choices and expert sense of depth confusion. From the very first sculpture the viewer encounters, with two thumbs that were actually one, then sculpture after sculpture, it became obvious that the works were made by an incredibly observant, and perhaps even wittier artist.

Featured image taken by Sara Korzec.