Ingrain by Anthony Nelson

Art while you eat

Photo taken by Alana Trachenko.

Winnipeg artist Anthony Nelson, member of Synonym Art Consultation, continues to expand his repertoire with his latest exhibit showing at the Cornerstone on Osborne. The current showcase breaks away from his previous work, such as his opening in 2013 where he presented his collages, which he described as being put together blindly, in a way that is true to his subconscious.

Nelson’s current show is anything but unintentional. Aptly named Ingrain, the images share the common theme of depicting wood grain. The lines are thick and the colours bold, but the patterns are unmistakably of wood. Nelson plays with different colour combinations, sizes, and series of images.

Nelson has taken an image typically seen in neutral colours and added energetic reds, oranges, and blues. The juxtaposition compels the viewer to think about the nature of a material that we are so used to, we forget to notice it.

Nelson seems to want you to remember that wood is a constant topic in our society; it is a raw material and source of energy whose use is constantly being debated by governments and companies. It surrounds us not only in nature, but also in every room and building. It is used to construct, create art, and draw us around the bonfire during the summer.

Cornerstone provides a surprisingly suitable backdrop for Nelson’s work. The wood grain is complemented by open white walls and brick, and occupants have the pleasure of observing the paintings at length, either for the simple aesthetics of the colours or for the deeper implications that one could take from the images.

Synonym Art Consultation is focusing on presenting art in public spaces, rather than keeping exhibits limited to galleries. Art in public spaces has been a key objective in improving the city’s quality of living, as well as a counter to instances of graffiti.

Local artists get more exposure and city residents are able to view art in places other than galleries, which may not operate during hours that are convenient to everyone. In addition, some people may not feel as if they are part of the crowd that can attend art shows, because of their association with a particular scene in Winnipeg.

Chloe Chafe and Andrew Eastman of Synonym Art Consultation say that showcasing art in public spaces means the art is enjoyed by more people for longer lengths of time, and benefits both the artist and the business. Businesses that may not want the task of constantly changing art in their space can pass the task off to Synonym, who are more than happy to do it.