Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Yvette Moore Gallery, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan August 2007

Renowned Saskatchewan realist painter Yvette Moore is often times standing behind the counter in her own gallery in a beautifully restored city-sanctioned heritage building that houses her gallery along with a restaurant. There are only Moore's detailed paintings along with numerous ceramics from around the region. Each painting and print, many of which are duplicates of various sizes, all depict a Saskatchewan of red brick detailing, ma and pa stands, handsome street carts passing old theatres, empty bridges on quiet rivers, and the tranquility of a place that seems uninhabited except for small playful children. The nostalgia is heavy and unmistakable, and the pieces are all finely detailed down to the last brick and mortar, but as she states on her webpage, "I want my art to be a document – a document of where we came from and where we are going. I find much of the simpler things in life no longer exist," the paradox that the past and the future are identical does not appear to baffle the artist.
Moore's focus on commercialism and tourism has proven successful, and her dedication to preserving the historical roots of Saskatchewan has been honoured at all levels, but in looking at the town of Moose Jaw, I wonder if this place was meant to sustain itself as a tourist attraction for those looking for an old-fashion way of life.

Image: Copyright Yvette Moore, Capital Theatre circa 1930.

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