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Lesson Plans

ID:UA Art issues raised

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Kerin Allen (
Fri, 30 Oct 1998 16:18:13 -0700

Thanks for posting your issues when you did. Your UBC website does not
have your artist, Gwen Boyle, posted to date so I will be responding to your
issues in conjunction with your wonderful description of her work.
Issue 1) Inclusion of natural science and art.
Natural science and art are powerful allies, both being
products of a creative force. Natural science will always provide a wealth of
ideas that evolve quite beautifully into artforms. An example might be
ordinary table salt that converts into glorious designs and colors when seen
under an Scanning Electron Microscope.
Ms. Boyle, tapped into this same vision with her use of the 20
ton boulder. How many people have looked at this very same boulder and seen
only an immovable object or an enormous paper weight? Incorporating natural
objects in the artform includes a powerful "P.S". that makes the viewer hover
a moment longer, contemplating the message and the intended meaning of the

2) How public art contains historical, personal and public content.
I believe all art contains some form of personal information by
virtue of the choices and decisions made by the artist when creating the
piece. The personal content may be subliminal or exalted, the choice is with
the artist but it is always present in the work.
Historical content is an option that may be dictated by the
commission or may be the choice of the artist. History imbedded in the piece
may act as a reminder or remembrance like the Vietnam memorial or act as a
warning like Picasso's Guernica.
Public works of art have the honor of being seen by any and all.
The placement of the artwork may be as necessary to the intent as the
materials used. Artist of public art have the added responsibility of
recognizing the diversity of the viewers. Broadcasting their message to the
public, like Diego Rivera's murals, takes on a greater magnitude and
responsibility and maybe a little more courage.

I hope I have able to coherently touch on some of the issues you raised
without carrying on into eternity. Your ideas bring up some fascinating
concepts. I am looking forward to seeing Gwen Boyle's artwork "Time and the
River" when it is posted.

Kerin Allen

Lisa Bloomfield wrote:

> Hello from Vancouver!....I see you are concerned about the art issues
> assignment. I believe it has only been introduced to our class, but from
> what I understand we are to discuss issues surrounding our regional
> artist.
> I'm not sure if the UBC web site is up and working yet, but it should have
> an artist image in my file, and state the issues I have found within this
> work.
> I'll give you the basic introduction to Gwen Boyle. She is a public
> artist in Vancouver. Her art is generally site specific and she involver
> some type of natural elements within her mediums. For instance, the work
> on the web titled "time and the river" uses a 20 ton glacial boulder,
> water, carved metal and stone.
> I noticed that you responded to some of the discussion of the art an
> ecology on the getty digest, so I hope you will find her work interesting.
> I suppose my issues are: 1) inclusion of natural science and art and 2)
> how public art contains historical, personal, and public content.
> I think a school project involved with an artist who work with this size
> and media would be exciting for both the students and the teacher.
> Let me know what you think?
> Lisa