Jack Niven

7 November 1996 - 21 December 1996
Opening Reception 7 November 1996 8pm



The Mercer Union window space allows for a natural duality, giving viewers the option to access the work from the public visibility of King St. West or to enter the gallery space to experience the work as an intimate, first hand experience.

“The term ‘journeyman’ is a certification of a degree of professional competence, an acknowledgement that one has served one’s time as an apprentice. Jack Niven’s work Journeyman is a model of good craftmanship; straight forward…and is a statement about the eventuality of death. The coffin is a heavily laden form that nonetheless proposes specific cultural and class connotations. Niven was inspired by the fantastic burial containers of West Africa that are shaped into birds, aeroplanes, flowers – the alpha and omega of desires of the eventual occupants…. The poetic quality of Journeyman is that it moves freely from ‘coffin’ as symbolic to ‘coffin ‘as functional’ to ‘coffin’ as exemplar of fine craftsmanship, refusing, as yet, to be nailed down as any of the above.”

-from an essay by Sara Hartland-Rowe

Jack Niven is a London, Ontario-based artist who attended McMaster University and the Alberta College of Art and has exhibited extensively across Canada, Europe, and the United States since 1982. He has received numerous awards from the Canada Council. Journeyman was recently exhibited at the Palace at 4 a.m. in London, Ontario