'The ubiquitous act of waiting'

Full Circle Art Collective opens new exhibition at Burnaby Art Gallery Thursday evening

Seven artists are exploring the "ubiquitous act of waiting" in a new exhibition at the Burnaby Art Gallery.

In Wait features works from seven members of the Full Circle Art Collective, including five who have works in the city's permanent art collection.

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The exhibition launches tonight (Thursday, Sept. 4) with an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m.

It's described as a "contemplative response to the artists' personal experiences and the shared communal psyche as they examined an ordinary part of life: the ubiquitous act of waiting."

The artists describe their work by referencing the story of Penelope, wife of Odysseus, in Homer's Odyssey. She finds herself besieged by suitors during her husband's long absence and, in order to avoid making a decision about matrimony, she announces she must weave a shroud before she can marry again. She weaves during the day, and her maids unravel her work during the night - thus never completing the shroud and allowing her to find a resolution in waiting.

"Her task of weaving is solitary, but communal in unraveling, as her maids participate in deconstructing her creation," the artists explain in a press release. "As artists, who had met while working in the Malaspina Printmakers Studio in Vancouver, we experienced a similar communal connection and decided to engage in this project that reflects Penelope's connection with her handmaids."

Each artist began with self-reflection on their personal "In Wait" experience, then embarked on an exchange of images and concepts.

"The personal Wait became intertwined with the Wait of others, and a unique interactive process emerged. The collective construction of each piece became an exciting multi-layered journey in image-making and exchanging of ideas," they explain.

The results of that work are on the walls of the Burnaby Art Gallery now.

A few upcoming special events are also set in connection with the exhibition:

* In the BAG Family Sunday: This free program is on Sunday, Sept. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m., giving families a chance to take part in an interactive, hands-on studio activity in connection with the exhibition. No registration is needed, and it's for all ages.

* Mandarin tour and tea: On Saturday, Sept. 27 from noon to 2 p.m., gallery guide Dong Yue Su will lead a Mandarin-language tour of the exhibition. It's going on in conjunction with an educational tea demonstration with Adrian Sinclair (in English) in the Fireside Room. It's free, but call 604-297-4422 to register.

* Collaborative print workshop: Two of the Full Circle Art Collective artists will lead a print workshop, giving participants a chance to explore collaborative art-making. It's for ages 16 and up, and it's on Sunday, Sept. 28 from noon to 3:30 p.m. Call 604-297-4422 for details.

* Artist panel: Artists from the Full Circle Art Collective will be on hand for an interactive evening on Thursday, Oct. 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. It's free, and no registration is needed.

The Burnaby Art Gallery is at 6344 Deer Lake Ave., and it's open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is by suggested donation of $5.

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