Artful Musing

THE ARTFUL BLOGGER: Not your garden variety show — exploring Local Flora at SAW Gallery

By Paul Gessell

"Silence" by John Barkley is one of the pieces on view at "Local Flora."

The title of the classy and fascinating new exhibition at SAW Gallery might be called Local Flora, but many of these flowers, plants, and trees not what one normally encounters in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

Now, John Barkley’s semi-abstract landscapes do seem inspired by the swamps and lakes of the Gatineau Hills. And the portrait-like photographs of individual plants by Lorraine Gilbert and Angela McCormick do seem very familiar, perhaps from some park or woodland just around the corner.

But Marc Nerbonne’s exotic scenes are taken more from nightmares than from local settings, and Howie Tsui’s sculptures of mushrooms, very phallic and slightly Chinese, are not found in Gatineau Park (at least nowhere I have hiked). And as for Andrew Morrow’s plants circling like birds of prey in a never-ending loop, well, you have to see them to believe them. (more…)