Ahoy, ahoy!  It’s been a very cozy weekend here in Sackville.  The roomies and I have been drinking tea, and doing incredible amounts of homework. We’re all in different programs, but we are always all very busy during the last week of school!  Depending on which one of us you are, you have essays to write, photos to develop, lab reports to finish, songs to learn or conversations to transcribe…always go-go-go and never a dull moment!

So, now to throw us back to Thursday….
Abstraction in the Canadian art world began to take off during the late 1930s and early 1940s.  Paul Emile Bourduas was an influential player in the Canadian abstraction movement and encouraged his pupils to create spontaneous work.  He also wrote Refus Global, which is a social commentary on a call for reform in Quebec, and a separation of Church and state.

You can read it here: http://www.dantaylor.com/pages/refusglobal.html

As an early figure in this movement, many of his pupils were intrigued by him and his home in Saint Hillaire became a sort of artistic retreat for him and his students, where they would have discussions and suppers and develop new ideas and techniques related to the movement.  The importance of centres like this for artists to gather was very central to the implementation of the abstract art movement in Canada.

Emma Lake in Regina, Saskatchewan was the site for many summer school art programs put on by the Regina College School of Art.  In 1955, Kenneth Lochhead, one of the instructors of the time, decided it would be most beneficial to have major summer workshops out at the Emma Lake property rather than just the regular summer school programs.  He hoped he would attract some bigger names to the workshops and it would be a way for artists of the prairies, who were seldom paid much attention to by the larger city centres, would gain attention from the public.  The workshop proved to be such a roaring success, that it is still held annually each summer, as a way of connecting artists and bringing them together to share work and ideas.

To me, there is nothing better than a workshop to get creativity, ideas and conversations going.  Workshops can occur within almost any profession, and if they are done effectively, everyone involved walks away with a fresh perspective and new ideas.  They keep things moving, they allow for the evolution of ideas and most importantly, they bring people together who otherwise may not have had an opportunity to meet!  This was the original goal of the Emma Lake workshops and it proved to be more successful than anyone could have ever hoped!

Thats all for now!