Sue Rusk Ephemera
Exhibition: May 29 to June 20, 2015
Vernissage: Thursday, May 28 at 6 pm
Artist, Curator, Dancer | An Exchange: Thursday, June 4 at 7 pm
Ephemera, Sue Rusk’s exhibition in the McClure Gallery, includes approximately thirty works created in the artist’s Vermont garden over the last three years. Executed in watercolour, acrylic, charcoal and conté on Mylar and hand-made paper, the works combine the immediacy of spontaneous gesture drawing with the thoughtfulness of long and considered looking.
The subject – flowers – has long held the artist’s attention; she repeatedly returns to the theme. However, the works in Ephemera open up a spacious new ground. Earlier concerns are not so much abandoned as honed towards a visual poetics that speaks of embodied experience, felt truth and a profound awareness of life’s mutability. The artist chose to privilege drawing over painting for its capacity to lay bare. “I wanted to simplify things, to eliminate anything not essential and drawing, which has always been important to me, was what I needed.” As the most elemental of art disciplines – drawing allows Rusk to sustain an immediate experience of and response to her subject. Inherent throughout the series is a feeling of movement, metamorphosis. Nothing is anchored down, rooted. Things tilt, bend, fall, lean, dance; several titles are directly borrowed from dance: En l’air, Dénoument, Plié, Pas de chat. A sense of things about to dissolve or disintegrate – as if the petals are detaching from the bud, the leaves from the stem – echoes throughout the work. Against such a feeling of dissolution and vulnerability, Rusk posits a poetics that repeatedly locates beauty within the cyclical, eternal dance of change. The quick, tremulous, questing lines capture the movement perceived at the heart of nature.
Sue Rusk notes that this body of work is about “how I would like to feel.” Ephemera offers the artist and the viewer a poetic salve to the spirit, an invigorating lack of closure and an intimate communion with the natural world, not in spite of, but through its mutability.
Sue Rusk was born in Montreal. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, France, Brazil, Israel, Spain and in the United States. Her works can be found in many major corporate, public and private collections nationally and internationally.
Sue Rusk taught drawing and painting at the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts and developed, directed and taught at the School of Creative Arts for Children in Montreal. She continues to teach art workshops in her Montreal studio.