Art Dates & Location
June 21st – August 24th
Estevan Art Gallery and Museum
118 4 St
Estevan, SK S4A 0T4
Alison Norlen was curated by Estevan Art Gallery & Museum.
Alison Norlen is a visual artist who is known for large-scale drawing and sculpture installation. Her work is in private collections in the United States and Canada and in the public collections of the National Gallery of Canada, The Mackenzie Art Gallery, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery, the Manitoba Art Council, The Canada Council Art Bank, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.
My work is a reflection on my long and passionate interest in cultural spectacles, idyllic environments, and real existing/imagined and diminished architectures, landscapes and escapist environments. I have been conducting research and producing work based on miniature golf courses, pinball machines, parades, celebrations, festivals, architectural follies, and both small, humble and fantastic international events. I have traveled to world fairs sites, theme parks, the carnivals of Rio de Janeiro and Trinidad, all night candlelit vigil celebrations for Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and museums of oddities and curiosities. Whether hugely impressive and spectacular or mundane and private these journeys have inspired my work for many years.
I grew up in Kenora Ontario, and home of the 40-foot-high Husky the Muskie muskellunge sculpture which sits in McLeod park overlooking the picturesque Lake of the Woods. My first job was working the Rabbit Lake drive in theatre, where I worked as the popcorn girl or worked at the miniature golf course. I fell in love with the course being a kind of virtual travel labyrinth, moving from a Dutch windmill, to a pagoda, to a lighthouse, all through the act of chasing a little ball. My affection and fascination has led me to build miniature and massive icons that are intended as references/tributes to pleasure palaces, expositions/world's fair remnants, follies, buildings in various and ambiguous states of construction and demolition and object and icons that are nostalgic.
My exhibition “eccentricity” and on-site construction of the sculpture “cornet” continues this effort to represent aspects of utopia, fantasy, memory, personal narration, melancholy and metaphor. I will be installing large scale drawings, a kinetic Ferris wheel, and building, while in Estevan a large transparent ice cream cone. This roadside attraction will pay homage to the Estevan 1954 Dairy Queen, and its being the second only to be built in Saskatchewan.