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Jan. 9 to Feb. 20, 2017

My work is based on a medium, car parts/car generated patterns and a process, intuitive art. I work with car parts/car patterns because I am concerned that our world has become too autocentric. I work intuitively eschewing narrative or representation in part because the process of creating narrative and representational art doesn’t excite me I distrust clichés and packaged art that stunt our response to the world around us.

Though I have doubts about our transportation choices, I feel I am honouring the car parts themselves – intricate and beautiful – by responding directly to them and I have a sense that imposing narrative on them is perpetuating the problem. We squander them as we squander energy and resources; we use them and then we discard them. In my work, I want to honour these parts as perhaps the Aboriginals honoured all the parts of their prey: nothing was wasted. I believe that my art can open the door to thinking about this critical and complex issue.

Unlike most abstract or intuitive art, my work is pinned to an object, the car. That connection is important; it subtlety links my work to my audience – it gives them a “handle.” My audience is important to me, I don't want to lose them. As any good song writer knows, you need more than a melody, you need a “hook” – a part that is recognizable. Through the hook, the song or a piece of art becomes more accessible which allows an audience to connect to the piece. The hook, car parts, in my work is both built in (mass produced car parts are, by their nature, repetitive) and recognizable (cars are very familiar to us).

Lately, I have been printing, stenciling and painting these large fabric pieces which reflect my concern with the car more directly. I am including text in many of these pieces as I feel we are slipping further into a carscape and I need to speak. They are more like stage backdrops which I only realized as I worked on them, meant to overwhelm the viewer and enfold them in the message.

Jeff Mann


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