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Bev Pike
From February 25th 2000 to March 1st 2000
Excerpts from Microscopic Remains

Bev Pike’s recent painting investigate mourning rituals in an exhibit entitled "Excerpts from Microscopic Remains". This series of very large paintings developed from experiencing the contortions of mourning : of sorting through clothes for their evocative essences ; of repetitively touching something to re-animate it ; of embodying sensations of remembering. The result is an investigation of memory storage in body tissue, and the dramas of its retrieval. The paintings function as a bodily host wherein reminiscence is sporadically released, like the thawing of an anaesthetic. This series investigates paintings as both body surrogate and body receptacle. The paintings function as chambers in which organ-like forms are confined, containing the bodily content much like a laying-out table, coffin, or bed. On exhibit, the dark red wrinkled velvet frames echo sutures, creating a claustrophobic enclosure filled with magnified wounds. The artist wishes to use large scale painting to summon the aftermath of the suspended state of trauma.

In the series,Pike has been interested in evoking entwined organs, tissue, and skins using tightly twisted woollen bundles. This intensifies the metaphor where clothing of the dead mutates into musculature of the living. In this work, extensive bruising and physical decay will emanate from large swellings, obscuring sections of organical material. This work will experiment with emerging memory, no longer embodied, as it manifests itself in bruised and decayed paint to transgress accepted histories.

Bev Pike is a Winnipeg artist who was educated at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary. She participated in the art community there and in Edmonton, where she was involved with Latitude 53 Society of Artists. In 1986 she moved to Winnipeg to become involved with Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (M.A.W.A.), an organisation devoted to the professional development of women artists. Since 1979 she has exhibited her work across Canada, notably at the Dunlop Gallery in Regina, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, The New Gallery in Calgary, the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, and the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax. Her curatorial work includes "Cloisters", for M.A.W.A., and "Redefining the Decorative", for Ace Art Gallery in Winnipeg. Pike’s work is in the Canada Council Art Bank, the Manitoba Arts Council Art Bank, the North York Art Gallery Collection, the Winnipeg Art Gallery Collection, among others.

Bibliographie
- Couëlle, Jennifer, «Des restes intimes», La Presse, 11 mars 2000, p.D17.
- Lamarche, Bernard, «Une certaine claustrophobie», Le Devoir, 25-26 mars 2000, p.D10.
- Lehmann, Henry, «Looking between facades and interiors», The Gazette, 11 mars 2000, p.J2.