Prairie Fusion Arts & Entertainment showcased the work of 10 hard-working artists at an exhibition entitled "Damaged Landscape" this past Wednesday, July 27th.
The event put on by the Frost Shield Kerfuffle Collective was to show that at some level, everyone can identify with the word "damaged."
"A lot of the other members are former students of mine," says Thorneycroft, as she was their drawing professor at the U of M.
The senior member talks about this being the group's third exhibition together, but the first since the post-pandemic era.
"It's lovely having a chance to show work again and to have conversations. I've done a lot of artist talks through Zoom, and I'm the only one who was cracking jokes, and I don't know if anyone is listening or laughing. It's just been really weird. So, it's really nice to have this opportunity to have real bodies in a real gallery space."
Thorneycroft reveals that she organized a bus from Winnipeg for this showcase bringing 44 people from the capital of Manitoba to Portage for this occasion.
Patrica Eschuk, a member of the collective, spoke about the connection she wants people to take away from her art.
"I like people to immerse themselves in my work and have that kind of experience of nature. So, there's some realism, some of its abstract, some of its kind of magical"
Eschuk notes it felt amazing to have people take in her art.
"It's a wonderful gallery, lovely people, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience here. Very, very grateful to have been able to show the work," continues Eschuk. "The piece that I worked on took me three years to do through COVID, and so the fact that people are really enjoying the show and they're coming out, and they wish they had more time with it, that does a lot for an artist's heart."
Kelly-Jo Dorvault, the artist who displayed an "Athletic Hybrid Butterfly Collapse," talks about how she came up with the idea of the body being the landscape.
"There's a lot of artists that do work called bodyscapes and just playing with the body and how it relates to or how it could be a landscape. When we talked about "damaged landscape," the first thing I thought of was healing. So, I wanted to do something positive that reflects things that the body goes through; that might not be a positive thing, but if it's part of the process of life and things that happen to you along the way. Even if you're damaged, you're not actually broken. You can still keep going, and things evolve."
When asked about the feeling of seeing support for this exhibit, Dorvault posed the question, "What is art without people?"
"You want people to react or to have their own personal interactions with it, insights and stories. It's just about connecting with people, and that would be the highlight of it, is bringing people together and having all these great connections and interesting ideas that go into things.
Dorvault says that none of this would be possible without the influence and leadership of Thorneycroft, adding that everyone in the group is basically under her artistic umbrella.
Kerfuffle member, Timothy Brown outlines how it feels to have the public's eyes on his work.
"This is the first time I've actually got public feedback, and it's kind of like 'Oh my God,' people actually like it, but it's very surprising. I mean, we are obviously our own worst critics at times. So, I think I was very critical about myself and my work. It's nice to actually hear feedback that isn't just kind of classmates,"
The Frost Shield Kerfuffle Collective is made up of 10 artists:
- Cullen Bingeman
- Timothy Brown
- Micheal Boss
- Evin Collis
- Kelly Jo Dorvault
- Patrica Eschuk
- Peter Graham
- Kenneth Harasym
- Chris Simonite
- & Diana Thorneycroft.