Our New Shared Language

Our New Shared Language – April 7-25, 2020

I have been thinking a lot lately about the importance of human touch.  Aganetha Dyck’s incredible beework and honeycomb sculpture “Arrival” sits on my desk and I look at it often.  I was struck by the gestures of the figurines as well as the way the bees would have “touched” the figures to build their intricate honeycomb.

In the middle gallery, for the month of April, we have hung a selection of artworks that reflect our new shared language.  Terms such as “self isolation” and “social distancing” are now common topics of conversation among us all.  Artists always have and will continue to reflect our surrounding world and through these artworks we show how  humour, grace and a sensitivity reflects the current human condition.


The inspiration for the exhibition was Aganetha Dyck’s sculpture “Arrival”, a rare bee-altered porcelain figurine that display’s a gentleman’s exchange with an elegant female on her way to a masquerade ball.   Touch is also important in Greg Curnoe’s 1965 painting “Sketch for “Room” Painting”.   As the female figure extends her arm outside of the painting, you sense that she is either pointing or gesturing in order to connect.

Peter Doig, known for his evocative images, is one of the most renowned figurative painters in the world.  His etching “Two People at Night (Indigo)” is cinematic in feeling, dream-like and hopeful.

I included Etienne Zack‘s “Pile Up” since it shows the detritus of our lives that we are currently sifting through, or perhaps represents our longing for a future when we can be together again.  Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart staged “Bento” last year while an artist in residence in Japan.  The tiny apartment bathroom, well stocked with all of her essentials, presents a humourous interpretation of our cramped living conditions.

Diana Thorneycroft’s “Lake O’Hara” photograph of Superman riding Northern Dancer through a JEH MacDonald painting completes the exhibition.  We are all hopeful that Superman will come to save the day and just wish that he is able to get past the evil weasel holding the glowing green kryptonite!

Jennie Kraehling, Associate Director