Saturday, September 4, 2010

LOOK UP: The Fine Art of Roofing - An Invitation

Throughout the month of September I have ten paintings hanging in The Milner Gallery at the Stanley A. Milner Library in downtown Edmonton.  The series is entitled Look Up:  The Fine Art of Roofing and consists of images of roofing equipment and materials inspired by the company I work for and my ongoing interest in industry and trades.  During Alberta Arts Days on Saturday, September 18th from 2 - 4PM please come by the gallery to see the work and have a coffee. 

This series is a departure for me artistically in that it's a return to realism.  I was working from a studio space at my workplace, a commercial roofing contractor, surrounded by practical, applicable activity and a store of knowledge that inspires continual awe.  One sunny July day I took my camera out into the yard and took nearly 400 photos of the equipment and materials (three of these photos opened this blog, as a matter-of-fact).  From these images were born the ten paintings you can see in a slide show on the right of this page.  They tell a story of roofing from an observer's point-of-view.

This series is a tribute to the roofing trade.  These astounding people make a living ensuring universities, businesses, hospitals, libraries, and our homes are waterproof, comfortable, safe, and warm. 

My father is a carpenter and I am extremely respectful of his skill. To now work in his world of construction, this time in something of my mother's role as she was his secretary and bookkeeper, has been nothing but a privilege for me.  To work for a crew of about 70 roofers many of whom are close to my sons' ages is also a joy.  

These ten paintings are my way of recognizing anyone who cannot understand sitting behind a desk in an climate-controlled environment staring at a monitor as a career.  You need to do something practical and physical outside in the fresh air.  

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