Art & artists

1535 An English chambermaid

Queasy: a wannabe writer’s bumpy journey through England in the ’70s by Madeline Sonik Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $20.00 / 9781772141894 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * “There be dragons,” warn words in the corners of some old maps. The warning is really, of course, an invitation both to the intrepid to investigate remote lands and…
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1531 High end mischief

Mischief Making: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Art, and the Seriousness of Play by Nicola Levell, with a foreword by Nobuhiro Kishigami Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $29.95 / 9780774867368 Reviewed by Victoria Wyatt * Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas explains, “I am committed to the idea of human hybridity as a good thing: difference is a fertile…
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1527 Turbulence and eruption

Emily Carr, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr by Kathryn Bridge (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772679642 Reviewed by Colin Browne * Turbulence and Eruption: Emily Carr, Unvarnished There’s a scene in Kathryn Bridge’s wonderful collection, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr, that sticks in my mind. It’s June 1936….
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1510 Truths from Tahltan & Tuscany

Dempsey Bob: In His Own Voice by Dempsey Bob, with a foreword by Sarah Milroy Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022, in collaboration with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection & the Audain Art Gallery $40.00  /  9781773271613 Reviewed by Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa * I flip open the Dempsey Bob in his own voice book and I am…
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1508 Panels and palindromes

Swan Song by Sonja Ahlers Wolfville, NS: Conundrum Press, 2021 $20.00 / 9781772620627 Reviewed by Jeff Stychin * Sonja Ahlers’ Swan Song makes me wonder if we’re taking full advantage of the written discourse we use daily to communicate. Ahlers seems to have found an improved precept in which the form of the page becomes…
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1493 Holding fast

Bog Treasure by Eileen Casey and Jeanne Cannizzo Dublin: Arlen House, 2022, distributed by Syracuse University Press $19.95 / 9781851322695 Reviewed by Jane Frankish * Editor’s note: readers might also like to hear Eileen Casey read a selection of her bog poems in Treasure, a short film commissioned by Offaly Arts for Culture Night, 2021,…
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1471 In search of a deeper meaning

Wilson Duff: Coming Back, A Life by Robin Fisher Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $39.95 / 9781550179750 Reviewed by Rob Hancock * A casual observer might be surprised to learn that Wilson Duff’s life had been the subject of two operas and a novel before the first full-length biography was written about him. On the one…
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1470 Piecework and peace work

Mother, the Verb, Swan Sister Treasure Book by Linda Rogers and Friends Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $25.00 / 9781039124530 Reviewed Cathy Ford * Upon a time (note dear reader, not “once”), there arrived a beautifully dense green book on my desk. For me, it arrived just in time. As said more often than anyone ever wanted…
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1464 Chinatown settlers and letters

Occupying Chinatown by Paul Wong Vancouver: On Main Gallery, 2021 $80.00 / 9780969477778 Reviewed by May Q Wong * In this limited-edition clothbound book, the reader will share a personal journey with world-renowned artist Paul Wong, who pays homage to his mother and family, and by extension, the early Chinese immigrants who established Vancouver’s Chinatown….
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1459 Rabbit Lane: Douglas Coupland

Art Exhibit Review: RABBIT LANE: DOUGLAS COUPLAND At the West Vancouver Art Museum, March 30-May 28, 2022, open Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Reviewed by Heidi Greco * Between March 30 and May 28, 2022, the West Vancouver Art Museum is hosting an exhibit of photographs, RABBIT LANE: DOUGLAS COUPLAND. Heidi Greco, on behalf of The…
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1438 Bill Holm (1925-2020)

Bill Holm (1925-2020) An obituary by Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa * Think of a slow, gentle, deep-water earthquake. You may have missed it, but think how its waves reverberate for a long long time, repeatedly coming ashore and changing entire landscapes over time. That was American art historian Bill Holm. Bill Holm died in December 2020 at…
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1429 A fine Edwardian melodrama

Hampton Court: A History by Allen Specht Victoria: Privately Published, 2021 $15.00  /  9781778350450 Available at Books & Shenanigans (347 Cook Street) and Ivy’s Bookshop on Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, or by contacting the author at <> Reviewed by Martin Segger * The domestic arrangements that distinguish a ménage à trois from a ménage à deux…
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1427 An artistic and spiritual journey

Luminous: An Artist’s Guide to Radical Creativity by Linda Frimer Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2022 $39.95 / 9781989467220 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Linda Frimer’s Luminous is a complex and intriguing work that mixes memoir, spiritualism, and meditations on art and colour with reflections on Judaism and her own family’s roots through generations going back…
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1426 Farewell to the silent past

The Atheneum by Trevor Newland Vancouver: Simply Read Books, 2021 $23.95 / 9781772290622 Reviewed by Peter Babiak * Whenever I’ve had the pleasure of teaching Children’s or Young Adult Literature, or even Graphic Novels, I’ve suspected that some students think the readings will be quick and easy, and that the critical thinking they’re called to…
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1412 Trevor Martin’s Vancouver

PHOTO ESSAY: Trevor Martin: Vancouver photographer by Bill Paul * Originally from Cornwall, England, Trevor Martin started taking photographs there in 1960 before coming to Canada in 1969. He is known for his images of Vancouver, the Canadian Prairies, the American Southwest, England, Paris, Rome, and Sicily. Here, Bill Paul shares a small sample of…
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