Playing With Fire (Megan Warkentin grad exhibition)

In those seemingly quite moments of exploration, when we’re all alone, and when we don’t know what we’re doing, that is when we might be the most alive. Consider this quote by Chuck Palahniuk, who often pulls from personal experience when writing his novels. –

Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

In the month of October I released a couple of posts about a friend of mine. These posts supported an important interview I had conducted with my friend in the fall of this year. You see dear readers, she is graduating from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts after a stint of approximately ten years in post-secondary education – her name is Megan Warkentin and she is a visual artist with a masters degree in painting.

Our interview was about the importance of exploration, whether inside the framework of a creative discipline, as it relates to the occupations of the mind or when considering the physical world and the items contained inside of it.

Megan has always been a creative individual, but it wasn’t until she went after her university education that she really focused in on visual arts… And now she is asking one of the hard questions of life over and over again in her art.

Why would someone risk their safety, health and potentially their life in the pursuit of stunts and dangerous activity?

What began as a number of experimental paintings that featured still images from YouTube videos of people performing dangerous stunts and the resulting aftermath, has slowly evolved into a process surrounding larger ideas of risk and exploration. Megan is fascinated by human behaviour, and wants to know why people set themselves directly in harms way, why other people are fascinated by this behaviour in the first place, and how those onlookers might react to the sport of British cheese rolling or ravine jumping. Inspired by artists like Kim Dorland, Peter Doig, Daniel Richter, and Tilo Baumgartel whose work showcases contemporary society in interesting ways, Megan wants to truly address the absurdity of adrenaline junkies through crude art, with a hint of the sublime and mystical in the mediums used.

08_warkintoncopy

This body of work culminates with an exhibition titled Playing With Fire between December 6-22 and January 30-7 at the Fine Arts Building gallery (1-1 Fine Arts Building, 89 avenue and 112 street, University of Alberta) and is the final visual presentation for Megan’s degree of Master of Fine Arts in Painting.

I realize it’s short notice dear readers, but if you want an opportunity to speak with Megan about her work, you should definitely check out the opening reception tonight, December 8th from 7-10PM at the FAB building. Otherwise the gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday 10-5PM, Saturday 2-5PM, closed Sunday, Monday, & statutory holidays.

I’m out of theories for the week my friends, but I hope you come back on Sunday for a new episode of Cross Talk.

Tim!

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