Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lost and Found, Marci Rhor, Portal Gallery August 12 - September 12, 2008, REVIEWED BY ERIN CARTER

The balance between losing and finding is so fine that I have hard time tallying up such situations. I remember always losing my Barbies' shoes, jewelery from my mother, one lone sock, favourite shirts, and music--sometimes just from forgetfulness, but more often times from break-ups. Missing the object more than the person was easier to deal with than those person’s feelings. As I think about loss, I can’t help but look over Marci Rhor’s interpretation of Lost and Found with a discerning eye. Has she lost as much as I have or more than me? What exactly has she found?

With her dreamscape backgrounds Rhor’s pictures take me back to a place of innocence, a place and time when seeing the first robin of the year was as exciting as seeing the first snowfall. The combination of colours and shapes seem child-like; even the animals in the paintings look as if painted by a child with a great skill for drawing and imagination. To accompany the paintings, Rhor has placed poetic ramblings made from scrap paper in envelopes beside certain pieces. I read every one of them and must admit I didn’t really get it. There are only a handful of poems that have blasted my thoughts out of the water and Rhor’s poetry seemed a little incoherent to me, but I appreciated the surprise of the envelopes that speaks to all of our child-like curiosities.

I found Rhor’s use of small colourful geometrical shapes filling in the shape of trees and landscapes quite intriguing. Every part of the canvas was full of bright colours that balanced each other out. I feel the message Rhor is trying to relate is the loss of innocence and a finding of the unknown--that great chasm of adulthood when you realize you were never the person you thought you were and neither are the people that surround you. Without the idea of Lost and Found behind her show, I think Rhors paintings could stand-alone based on composition and colour. In fact, the ideas of lost and found didn't really come across, but I wouldn’t mind having a couple hang on my wall.

Erin Carter is Prairie Artsters 2008 intern

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