21 x 30 inches or 30x21 mixed media on Ingersoll paper
During May 2012 the IRIS Group was in residence at an early 20C building in downtown Oshawa. Its most recent business was a store named BOLA, that sold Indonesian handcrafted objects. Over many days I was able to make drawings from the large amount of stock that remained in the now closed store.
This series of drawings is a way for me to look more closely at things, in this case at the plethora of objects that have been offered for sale in Bola and before that in Tribal Voices. Many pieces are made with fine skill, and as I am drawing I think of the human on the other side of the world that has laboured to create the piece. I am also thinking of the cultural implications and encoded meaning attached to various masks, Buddhas and even animal figures. Even work made for commerce is imbued with histories and belief systems, as well as geographic particulars—choice of material, choice of subject matter. (In Canada, supposedly, wolves and loons are the best sellers in prints and carvings made here for commerce.)
Bola is closed and will eventually take its place with the bank and the jewellery store in city records for 20 Simcoe Street North. My collection of images will have to stand in for one short time span in the building’s rich past.