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Knot, by Denise Gibbons; photo by Richard Trueman
General News · 5th August 2013
Rex Weyler
The current art exhibit - "Spindle" - at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery in Whaletown broke opening night attendance records and has reshaped the Cortes art culture. (See more of Richard Trueman's photos of the show on Tideline).

The work - by Ayami Stryck, Monika Beal, Terri Storey and Denise Gibbons - reflects the fabric arts, while incorporating multi-media, found objects, and elusive constructions that defy simple description. The work will almost certainly evoke very personal responses.

Walking in on the opening last Friday night, I felt transformed in place and time. This show could appear in a wing of the Museums of Modern Art in New York, Paris, or Tokyo. It is both primal and futuristic.

Stryck's "Recollection" invites one into a world of memory and metaphor, linked to the flesh with extraordinary skill and craft.

Beal's stunning naturalist creations reminded me of humanity's eternal place in the arms of the wild world, a fierce beauty, simultaneously soothing and startling.

Storey's constructions and assemblies crack open deep emotions, subtly in some cases, and then like a thunderbolt.

Finally, Gibbons' piece, "Knot," had me and many other guests spellbound with moving sound and images that appear to tell a perennial story about enduring cycles of expectation, loss, and renewal.

The work of these artists occupies a world quite beyond words, really. I encourage you to see this show and experience the power of creative art to stir feeling and insight.

Cortes is a practical world. We spend most of our time making things work, growing food, raising children, and enjoying life's simple pleasures. This art reflects that practicality while lifting us into a more ethereal world of emotion, allegory, memory, and vision.

With the publication and international success of Ruth Ozeki's book "A Tale for the Time Being," and with the original and inspiring art at the Old School House Gallery, it feels as if we have entered a new artistic era on Cortes, grounded in this place, and yet reverberating global insight with world-class skill and creativity.

The Spindle show continues this week; the Gallery is open Friday, 6 to 9 PM and Saturday and Sunday, 2 to 6 PM.

Rex Weyler