Fret - 2000 (detail)
Hand cut neoprene rubber
274 cm x 6m x 8cm (9' x 20' x 3")
Photo: M N Hutchinson
Exhibition history: Galerie Engramme, solo exhibition in Manif Internationale d'Art de Québec, Québec, QC, 2000; Stride Gallery, Calgary, AB, 2002; Leo Kamen Gallery, Toronto, ON, 2002; Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC, USA, 2002; Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, ON, 2003; Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax, NS, 2003; Object Gallery, Sydney, Australia, 2007
Originally made for a large vitrine-like gallery space, Fret reprises a 19th century Italian design for a rich velvet textile. The ground around the pattern is cut away leaving a hanging fretwork of thin neoprene. Silhouetted, symmetrical motifs are rendered Rorschach-like and the work casts strong shadows onto adjacent floor, walls and viewers. The attractiveness of the design is undermined by the industrial qualities of the material - its smell, texture and weight. Contemporary and historical referents co-exist uneasily in the resulting hybrid.