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From the Archives – Spotlight on Elspeth Pratt: from “Bluff” to “Second Date”

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From the Archives – Spotlight on Elspeth Pratt: from “Bluff” to “Second Date”

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It is always exciting to retrace the path of an artist you admire.

Today, the gracefulness and lightness of Elspeth Pratt’s work adorns the urban Offsite exhibition space of the VAG. It looks novel and contemporary, seemingly hand-made and whimsical but rendered in a scale that is normally out of proportion to the material.

In this blog entry, I’d like to consider Pratt’s journey towards becoming an important figure in the Vancouver art scene in relation to the CAG.

In several ways the CAG played an important role in her artistic career, being the site of her first solo exhibition. In 1985, Pratt  reflected on social commentary, urban issues, art, architecture and man-made environment through her formal sculptures.

In 1988, Robert Linsley, with assistance from the CAG, curated an exhibition of three Canadian sculptors held at Sala 1 gallery in Rome.  Among them, Elspeth Pratt would travel to Italy to present her abstract yet gestural sculptures to a European audience in an exhibition entitled “Architettura: Astrazione”.

These are not the only instances Pratt has shown work at the CAG. She also exhibited  Bluff in the gallery’s street front windows in 2007. This site-specific work commented on the lack of foresight that characterises downtown Vancouver’s residential-highrise industry.

Currently Pratt’s name is listed among 1000 others in  the windows as a reminder of the gallery’s artistic legacy and in commemoration of their 40th anniversary.

To view a short video of the artist commenting on her work, please follow this link:

http://www.contemporaryartgallery.ca/_content/uploads/f6387c4a-4921-102c-a8fe-25f148930a79/1276800597_elpseth_final_weLg_Prog001.mov

To read a recent article on Elspeth Pratt’s work at the VAG Offsite location, please refer to:

http://www.straight.com/article-404561/vancouver/two-galleries-head-outdoors

Ksenia Cheinman

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