Arts Commons Presents
Jarett Plays the Hits, Masked Dickey Birds in Their Natural Habitat, Feral Femme, and The Colored Clouds
Jarett Sitter, Juanita Dawn and Pat Rozitis, Larissa Monique Hauck, and Oxana Babkina
Location: Window Galleries (across from Max Bell Theatre in Arts Commons)
Dates: March 5 - June 4, 2019
Artist Reception: Friday, May 31 from 7:00pm - 10:00pm, 2019
Jarett’s illustrations delve deep into the dreamlike and the fantastical, with outsider themes of the misunderstood monster being a common thread within his work. Comments concerning dark elements within his art are not uncommon, and although perhaps the case at times, these details also often pose an ambiguous question to the viewer. Not uncommonly the answers to these questions reveal something about the viewer themselves. Jarett is also interested in the unassuming aesthetics of children's books. With this aesthetic in mind, a narrative usually arises within his work, making his art accessible to the casual viewer but rewarding scrutiny and contemplation by revealing more about the piece. His illustrations mix ink and digital mediums, and as a long time animator, these illustrations are often given life within video. His animation can also lean towards the more abstract when paired with live action video, enhancing it with an added surreal quality.
Dickey Birds in Mask are unique hand crafted sculptures designed and created by Juanita Dawn. They are a combination of ceramics and needle felting, bringing together the soft warmth of wool with the cool earthy feel of ceramics. They range in size from four to six inches and each creature embodies its own personality and whimsical spirit.
Each bird is in mask. The birds themselves must tell that story as to why. Is the Mask there to hide their true self or to present an image to a world that would otherwise not accept them as they are? What is their secret?… or are these birds simply preparing for a theater performance? That is for each viewer to decide.
Glass is fused at temperatures ranging from 1,310 to over 1,400 F. Time in the kiln will range from 20 - 28 hours, depending on the shape, colour and desired effect. Reclaimed wood will be sourced here in Alberta from fallen buildings and fences.
Feral Femme began as a series of small-scale paintings that developed into an otherworldly realm populated by fantastical creatures and overgrown-environments. With themes drawing from various mythologies surrounding the sacred feminine and elements of human baseness each painting is crafted in an intuitive and some-what cathartic way, as they do not begin with an exact image in mind, but rather with an urgency to create at that moment. They often begin as contour line drawings of plants, animals, or phantom limbs and then are developed further and somewhat abstracted with vivid watercolours. The colours are layered over each drawing, adding ghost-like apparitions to appear between the viewer and the image. Each scene is set with a hint of the uncanny, a sense of nostalgia for a world that does not exist or a yearning to return to a dream that once was.
While creating each intimate painting questions regarding mortality and what it means to truly be human are brought to surface. Perceptions concerning the feminine traits that embody us as individuals as well as the basic animalistic instincts we commonly share are a focal point for many of the creatures who inhabit this ethereal world. As humans we often feel a need to categorize and place limitations around another person’s lived experience. We sometimes forget that another individual’s life and emotional weight is ultimately just as complex and intense as our own and easily place labels on the people around us. It is rare to find someone that is entirely evil or good – humans are far too complex for this kind of labelling. Through mythology, cathartic mark making, and observations of the chaotic world surrounding us these eerie fairy-tale-like curiosities were born.
I call the presented collection of artworks “The Colours of the Soul”. Each of us has a color of the soul. Our soul color surrounds us and protects us. I have discovered that it’s typically our favourite color, it can speak with us if we like it or be silent when we don’t.
However, not only the color inspired my artworks but the sky and clouds with its variety of shapes as well. It is so eye-catching and making imagination go wild. That what happened to me when I moved to Alberta and as an artist I could not resist to express that beauty in my art. It was all of a sudden, I saw it as a new way of seeing certain things differently. Its infinite flawlessness, abstract shape and numerous shades cause people to see only what they can see, everyone from their own perspective and point of life. It pleases me when someone say that they see a silhouette of a fairy in that picture, or a weird sea creature, or even uterus and conceiving of the new life.
In this way the multiplicity of shapes, forms and colors of presented artworks reflects the endless facets of our souls.
Jarett is a mixed media artist based in Calgary, Alberta. He has a BFA from the University of Lethbridge's New Media program. Moving back to Calgary upon graduation, this is where he continues to create artwork. Jarett grew up watching cartoons and eating grilled cheese sandwiches, things he still enjoys to this day. He is also strongly influenced by music. Over the years he has had the opportunity to expand upon his love of music and art within various music projects. Recent achievements include creating the illustration work for the Calgary Folk Music Festival 2018 and the cover for the music issue of New York publication The Believer. In past years his music videos have been nominated for other awards including a Juno Award for best video of the year and Much Music Video Awards as well.
Juanita Dawn has focused her one wild and precious life into the pursuit of creating joy, through sculptural works, puppets and masks. Behind each of her whimsical, quirky creations is a story and it is these everyday human dramas that fuel the passion for Juanita’s work. These are the stories that speak to the souls of all those who allow her in.
Through many years of nursing, she has been a witness to life’s greatest joys and deepest sorrows. These ageless human narratives run through her creative soul giving a breath of life to her unique body of work.
Over the last few years Pat has been exploring, creating and perfecting many different aspects of fused glass art. His passion for design and colour is evident in his work. You might even say he is addicted to the Kiln & its rhythmic clicking as it works away generating an atmosphere of comfort and creativity in the studio, while fusing glass art in its belly.
Larissa Monique Hauck is an emerging visual artist who graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2014, where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts with Distinction in the field of painting. She has had her artwork featured in multiple international and regional publications including Creative Quarterly, Art Reveal Magazine, Minerva Rising Literary Journal, and more. In 2016 she was selected as an independent artist for the Nuit Rose Festival in Toronto, ON.
Oxana Babkina has studied at the University of Kazakhstan with focus on oil and acrylic painting, pastel, drawing, architecture and elements of interior designing. Now based in Red Deer, Canada she works on combining two different genres in one: abstract style and realistic subjects using soft pastel and oil paint, creating fascinating clouds that inspire viewers to see and reflect on different life aspects in its infinite variety and beauty. Oxana has participated in a group Exhibition (ART!Vancouver2017) in Vancouver, BC, presenting her most recent art projects. Since 2017 she is a FCA member.