Today I drove west from Toronto to the lovely community of Elora to view Andrea Bird and Daniel Beirnes’ Collaborative Show Circling the Confluence: an exploration around the Elora Gorge.
Andrea and Daniel are partners in life as well as art – living rurally in Wellington County with their family. Andrea’s primary medium is encaustic while Daniel sculpts with natural elements, using branches and stone in this case. For this project, they have collaborated on both the wall pieces and the sculptures, treading into new territory together. Over the past decade, they have worked together on various projects and exhibits, with this being the most ambitious and collaborative yet.
The idea for “Circling the Confluence” has been germinating for a few years. Research and collecting elements for the show began in January of 2011. The branches were taken from nearby tracts of land that were literally flattened by the 2005 tornado, and transformed into four sculptures that reflect the rivers and the convergence of the rivers, as well as the tornado itself.
This project surveys a circular path, centered on the confluence of the Irvine and Grand Rivers. The artists’ work incorporates found objects and “tornado branches” transforming the gallery into a map of geography and insight. The eight wall paintings that surround these installations represent various locations on the circle around the confluence, each with its own sense of place and essence.
I expect that this show profoundly speaks to the local population who experienced the devastation of this tornado. The show continues until November 6th at The Minarovich Gallery – The Elora Centre for the Arts, 75 Melville Street, Elora ON – eloracentreforthearts.ca.
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