Saturday, 8 June 2013

Fringe art at MAI

                   

By Nancy Snipper

“Pop-up Art Exhibition” – is what it’s called, said Becca McFarlaine, events co-ordinator (also stage manager) for the fabulous Fringe Festival. In short, and short it is, the exhibition is only on view for one day (June 7th only). Becca explained that anyone can register to have their art in the event, but it’s first come - first serve, and age is no barrier. In fact, there was one collage of a face that kept falling off the wall. It was done by a 14-year-old budding artist, Jack Burke. 
After the one-day show finishes on June 7th evening, all 40 art pieces are taken down from MAI’s lovely walls, and artists trudge home – either holding their beloved painting or lots of money in their hand, as these art pieces were on sale with low Fringe prices. 
So what about the art? It was really fun  – a lot of talent. There were photographs, collages, oodles of paintings and one textile piece. Interestingly, there was only one landscape, and it was done on tawny-coloured wood - collage pieces gave the real-life texture of varnished of birch trees in a forest with two small figures lost in the lovely maize of trees. 
My favourite was “Giovany”, a portrait painting (of Giovany, I guess) by Bruno Leydet. As for the whimsical, I liked, “Diane Took Disco Far Too Seriously”. It sported the image of a woman in profile – but her medusa-like hair was the showstopper here. Done in black and white, this acrylic and ink piece featured lots of instruments in fantasy-style sprouting from her hair which  could have been a nest of some sort. It was very imaginative as was “National-Zombie- Superstar”. It showed small squat figures of hockey heroes dressed in colourful sweaters. Real sunglasses were affixed to their faces which of course we could not see due to the glasses. It was created by Joël Cotin. 
 “Little Dead Riding Hood” featured a stunning woman whose face and body were more or less oozing blood and guts. This work, which caught my attention, featured the combined efforts of painter and make-up artists, Transy Rudniki and Chris MacKenzie.  
Another haunting painting was created by Alia Dans La Lune”. Titled, “Jouer la Nuit”, it featured a huge waif-like white faced little girl with huge eyes encircled with some red.. The rest of the image was in black, but there were touches of dark red , suggesting blood. There was something very ominous, even macabre about the feel of the image. Her big eyes kept staring out at me. 
This exhibition should have lasted longer than a day, and perhaps the artists present at the vernissage should have worn name-tags. It was the first time Fringe has shown their art at MAI, a prestigious venue. I felt the work I saw merited such an alluring space. These are brimming with talent, and some really stand out as the one to watch!