Liz Pead and Roch Smith
March 2nd to April 21, 2012
Opening Reception : March 2nd @ 7 PM
Pead and Smith use reclaimed sporting equipment to address notions of how national, local and personal identities are constructed through sports. Liz Pead reconfigures used hockey gear into elaborate relief constructions that reference significant landmarks in Canadian Art (specifically the Group of Seven).
Heavily laden with Canadiana as her work is, the viewer is drawn into reflections on how our collective imaginations are shaped by a shared identification with the “national pastime” (sometimes literally, through her association of art legend Tom Thompson with hockey legend Bill Bariko, both “famous Canadians swallowed up by the landscape” to never be seen again). Conversely, Smith renders sporting goods as models of weapons of war. His work draws a poignant link between support for sports teams and support for our troops. Smith’s work cleverly blurs lines between sport, nationalism, and real or symbolic conflicts. He is interested in how games are theorized as a means of playing out proxy warfare without bloodshed (Canada / Russia in 1972, or the 2004 and 2010 Olympic gold medal wins over the USA speak to this idea).