CONVERGING COURSES

Terence Johnson

22 November 1983 - 17 December 1983
Opening Reception 22 November 1983 8pm

East Gallery:

Converging Courses

An installation entitled “Converging Courses” is a continuation of Terence Johnson’s interest in the second part of a 1982 installation entitled “Ship/Logs”, at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. Terence Johnson is particularly interested in the implied movement through space and time that can be achieved by merely pointing one end, and rounding the other, of a straight length of timber. The transformation from dumb log to a specific replication with its implicit direction is the basis of the exhibition. Further interest lies in the element of danger suggested by the physical relationships of the ship shapes to each other, complicated by the fact that they exist in two disparate physical scales in contiguous space. Included in the exhibition are drawings which echo the concerns evidenced in the sculpture as well as explore in a more detailed manner the shapes of actual ships.

Terrence Johnson and Michael Fernandes at Mercer Union
John Bentley Mays
Globe and Mail, December 1983

A mixed media installation by Johnson, who heads the visual art department at the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts; and another by Fernandes, who lives and works in Halifax.

Johnson’s resolute piece, called Converging Courses, is composed of large, unpainted squared-off logs lightly shaped to suggest oil tankers and arrayed on the floor. It is accompanied by fine drawings of tanker silhouettes.

This is not, however, a show about toys you can take into the bathtub. Johnson’s piece is wary, rigorously formal inquiry into image making. His semi-ships are not unfinished; each of these objects is poised at some place on a line between being a log and being depiction of a ship — between being small and wood, and suggesting big and metal.

Describing the sculptures this way perhaps make Johnson’s inquiries sound ivory-tower indeed. Nothing could be farther from the truth. These days, with artists everywhere making images like crazy, this intelligent cautionary work (and this sort of work) is a tonic.

Michael Fernandes installation, entitled No Escape, contains a huge table and chair handsomely crafted, that make the viewer feel like Alice after she got very small. It also features slides, an audio tape-loop, fuzzy, glossy photos of the world’s aboriginal people, and a motion detecting mechanism that switches on the various parts of the installation when you come into the room. I don’t understand any of it.