See the mermaids swimming

9314697The RipOff Artists invite you to get surreal with them this summer as they filet “Queen of the Fish”, a beaded embroidery by Canadian artist Mimi Parent (1924-2005). To make things more surreal, each RipOff Artist will work circles and triangles into their rendition. The action will be reeling from August 5 to 9 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre in Oliver.

Each Ripoff Artist is also creating a “pre-piece” based on work by Parent or another Surrealist, or an original Surrealist-style work of their own. Members of the Ripoff Artists are Enid Baker, Terry Irvine, Tara Hovanes, Kurt Hutterli, Barb Levant, Leo Pedersen, Marion Trimble, JoAnn Turner, and Russell Work.

Mimi Parent was born and trained as an artist in Montreal, then moved to Paris and became well-known as a Surrealist. Parent was best known for 3-D shadow-boxes assembled from various objects and images. This year’s challenge has all the Ripoff Artists excited about how to render the work in their own mediums, as well as still puzzling over what Surrealist art was about. The Surrealist movement began in Europe after the First World War, based on new ideas about how the human mind works. Research into the brain, psychiatry and early neuroscience made people aware that more goes on in the mind than we’re aware of. Two world wars made artists question what motivates us to think and act the way we do, and Surrealist art can often be shocking, with images from dreams and themes of death, sex and repressed emotion. Surrealist art relies on surprise and the juxtaposition of unrelated objects or images to force the viewer to think beyond their usual reactions. Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte are perhaps the best-known Surrealist painters, but the movement was widespread and very influential for over 50 years. Surrealism also was seen in poetry, music and theatre.

Drift on down to the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Street in Oliver, to catch the Ripoff Artists in action. A public reception opens the exhibit on Monday, August 4, from 6 to 8 pm. Return during the week to chart their progress: Tuesday August 5 through Saturday August 9 from 9 am to 3 pm.