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Earthling Tales and Imaginary Hunting Trophies

October 3 - 29, 2016

Opening reception on October 8

 Earthling Tales and Imaginary Hunting Trophies

Every culture on Earth has at least one mask tradition: ceremonial, religious, theatrical, irreverent, and every mask ever created was created to help tell a story. Storytelling is the vital interpretation of our human experience, probably invented just a week ahead of the first mask.

My paintings and wood panels are almost always about the story. I like to compare and contrast, trying to be positive and a little playful. Sometimes I begin with a title, just knowing that it’s the perfect title for the right piece. Sometimes I begin with a single image, found, dreamed, sketched or photographed, and I struggle to create a relationship, a context, searching for a story that I can portray in a certain way. Sometimes I’m actually trying to make a particular statement. You decide.

My initial mask-making training began in 1981 at a workshop making papier mache masks in an Italian Commedia style. I’ve since developed my own style and methods, making hundreds of light-weight performance masks, creating for such diverse groups as Oden Theatre in Denmark, One Yellow Rabbit in Calgary, and Parks Canada in Waskesiu. From the mid1980s to the mid-90s, I was a member of the Calgary-based mask performance company MasQuirx, and many of the masks in this show are from that time. In the end, masks are trophies, things left behind when the performance is over, the story told.

Geoffrey Gerwing

Mask making workshop on October 15 & 22