Past Now: Luke Parnell

November 25, 2010 – February 21, 2011

Luke Parnell, Phantom Limbs (detail), 2010, basswood and Plexiglass. Photo: Andre Beneteau

Luke Parnell
Past Now
November 25, 2010 to February 21, 2011
Janice Laking Gallery
Curators: Suzanne Morrissette and Lisay Myers

This thematic double-solo exhibition features photography by Meryl McMaster (Toronto) and painted wood carvings by Luke Parnell (Vancouver). These rising Aboriginal artists address the distances to historical representations of and by indigenous peole, embodying past artisitc motifs in lviing contemporary forms.

As the curators write, “The mantle of colonialism in North America propelled photographers and artists of past centuries to pictorially ‘preserve’ indigenous cultures. Stubborn, ruinous stereotypes arose from such representations and issues surrounding their perpetuation inevitably raised questions with respect to Aboriginal agency. Two emerging Aboriginal artsts – Meryl McMaster and Luke Parnell – engage their work in critical conversations with the past. From distinct perspectives, they question the life of historical images today. Through subtle variations of historical image and iconography, both exemplify past now as creative credo.

Luke Parnell integrates his formative influences. His works are influenced by a globalized art education adn traditioal apprenticeship. Parnell integrates Haida and Nisga’a carving styles, incorporating knowledge drawn from his familial heritage and the recovery of old master works. He works with and against the inherent grain of Northwest Coast design, contributing to and honouring its lineage.”

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