The House Museum/BARDO-29 is pleased to announce its summer presentation, That Reminds Me (to nature the roof and the floor holding heart), featuring a site-specific installation created by artists Amy Bay (Portland, OR, USA) and Ashley Hemmings (Corner Brook, NL, Canada).

Curator, Robyn Love, invited Bay and Hemmings to collaborate following their participation in BARDO-29’s inaugural presentation, Newfoundland, Real and Imagined, in 2017.  The artists, who have never met in person, exchanged email correspondence throughout the fall and winter into 2018.  They shared images and thoughts about things that interested them most about Newfoundland and these conversations became the launching point for creating new work.

Initially, they talked about the limitations of island living, particularly in terms of access to supplies and other material goods.  For example, Hemmings, who is a native Newfoundlander, described how people in her community paint their house in one color until they run out of paint, then ask their neighbor for another color and finish the house in that color.

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Hemmings also shared some photos of her Nan’s walls and the wallpaper borders that her Nan continually papered over as she grew tired of the current one.

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As a result, Bay created a layered, painted piece for the space titled Ladies ChoiceLadies Choice is made from pieces of paintings that didn’t work out, strips of unprimed drop cloth, and other scraps from her studio in Portland, OR.  A modular installation that mimics the idea of a wallpaper border, the strips overlap and even hang slightly precariously on the walls.

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While Bay’s work activates the space near the ceiling, Hemmings became interested in making a floor covering.  Titled Overseas, Underfoot, the work is tactile and interactive.  She explores the sometimes conflicting history of Newfoundland’s tradition of rug making.  Until recently, women viewed rug making as a utilitarian practice, creating their mats for the floor.   More contemporarily, hooked rugs have become highly prized and highly praised – these rugs hang on the wall and are treated as works of fine art.  She focused on material and process over illustrative content, making each rug from fabric scraps and using different mat making techniques including rug hooking and crochet.

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That Reminds Me (to nature the roof and the floor holding heart) will open on Saturday, July 21st and remain on view until October 31st.  There will be a reception on July 21st and a closing costume party on October 31st.

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The exhibition, Newfoundland, Real and Imagined, was very well-received.  The opening reception had a nice turn out and there were weekly visitors to the gallery.  We even were interviewed by the CBC Radio One Morning Show.  Click here to listen to the interview.

As I mention in the interview, part of what was so interesting about the exhibition was that many people responded with what I might call “The First Five Things”.  What are the first five things that you think of when you think of Newfoundland?  Icebergs, puffins, moose, pitcher plants, hooked rugs?  It is my hope that BARDO-29 will continue this inquiry and we will start to look even deeper – the next five things and the next five things.

My sincere thanks to the artists who participated:  Finn Allen, Amy Bay, Joy Burt, Sasha Chavchavadze, Shannon Coyle, Anne Dinan, Janis Evans, Roy Evans, Ashley Hemmings, Paula Lalala, Robyn Love, Conan Masterson, Eva Melas, Blake Mills, Carol Mitchell, Hye Ryung Na, Melinda Stickney-Gibson, Colette Urban and Fran Willing.

Be part of the inaugural exhibition at BARDO-29, the new art space at The House Museum in Gillams!

You are invited to submit a small work (no larger than 12″ or 30 cm in any direction) to be hung salon style in BARDO-29.  The theme is Newfoundland, Real and Imagined.   This exhibition is open to all – people who live in Newfoundland and those who have never been here.  Send us your idea of Newfoundland!  Can be any visual media as long as it can be hung on a wall and does not exceed the size limit.

What is the difference between the idea of Newfoundland and the place itself?  Do you have to live here to know it?  Have tourism videos changed how you see your home?  What or who has been left out?  If you have never been here, what do you think of when you hear the name, Newfoundland?  Are those notions any less real than the promotional videos?  How can we know what is real and what is imagined?

Send your artwork by July 1st to:

Robyn Love/The House Museum, 29 Mill Road, Gillams, NL A2H 6B9, Canada

(Local people can arrange pick-up/drop off.)  All mailed work will be return via Canada Post unless otherwise arranged by the sender.

No, not within Newfoundland – we are still located in Gillams, on the Bay of Islands on the west coast of the island.  Rather, the website, which is becoming the full-time home of The House Museum, has moved.  Over the next few weeks, I will be shifting the archives to this site and generating new information and conversation about the issues that have always been the focus of this project – how does tourism shape culture?  What happens to hospitality when it is offered for sale?  Who decides how Newfoundland is represented to the rest of the world and why?  And other topics as they appear.

I hope you will join me!