Art & artists

#647 Finding Anna Wong

Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads by Ellen van Eijnsbergen and Jennifer Cane (introduction) and Zoë Chan and Keith Wallace (essays), with a foreword by Maurice Wong Burnaby: Burnaby Art Gallery, 2018 $40.00 / 9781927364314 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Visit the Burnaby Art Gallery’s touring exhibition, Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads, at the …
Read more #647 Finding Anna Wong

#646 An abiding hunger for art

Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man by C.E. Gatchalian Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $18.95 / 9781551527536 Reviewed by Vincent Ternida * “I live for art.” This is how C.E. Gatchalian commences his brief but dense collection of interconnected personal essays in Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making…
Read more #646 An abiding hunger for art

#634 Fragments of sorrow

Picking up the Pieces: Residential School Memories and the Making of the Witness Blanket by Carey Newman and Kirstie Hudson Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2019 $39.95 / 9781459819955 Reviewed by Sharon Fortney * Picking up the Pieces is a beautiful catalogue documenting the process behind the making of the Witness Blanket, an art installation created…
Read more #634 Fragments of sorrow

#633 Uneasy stories, imperfect lives

Meteorites: Stories by Julie Paul Victoria: Brindle & Glass, an imprint of TouchWood Editions, 2019 $22.00 / 9781927366820 Reviewed by William New * In a much quoted phrase, the Nigerian writer Ben Okri observes that the “fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection, there is…
Read more #633 Uneasy stories, imperfect lives

#627 Out of a Danish orphanage

Feast of Fields by Sean Karemaker Wolfville, NS: Conundrum Press, 2018 $18.00 / 9781772620252 Reviewed by Chris Fink-Jensen * Feast of Fields, by Vancouver artist Sean Karemaker, is a graphic biography that tells the story of his mother’s childhood experiences living in an orphanage in Denmark. The book begins from Karemaker’s own perspective, recounting a…
Read more #627 Out of a Danish orphanage

#614 Waterfront industry and memory

Photo essay: Revolving W and Flying Pigs: A Neon Journal by Keith McKellar (Laughing Hand), with an introduction by Robert Amos Victoria: BoneYard Ink Books, 2018 $50 / 9781775357704 Orders: direct from  www.laughinghand.com * In December 2018 we published a review (Ormsby Review #449) by Grahame Ware of Revolving W and Flying Pigs: A Neon…
Read more #614 Waterfront industry and memory

#608 Kootenay art and activism

New Ground: A Memoir of Art and Activism in BC’s Interior by Ann Kujundzic, with a foreword by Mary Schendlinger Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781773860015 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * I love memoirs like this. And really, we need so many more of them. So many stories still remain to be told,…
Read more #608 Kootenay art and activism

#588 Love, labour, and linocuts

On the Curve: The Life and Art of Sybil Andrews by Janet Nicol, with a foreword by Robin Laurence Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $28.95 / 9781987915877  * See with Your Own Eyes: The Sybil Andrews Story by Laura Ellyn Campbell River: Campbell River Arts Council, 2018 $15.00 / 9780981207568 Both books reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb…
Read more #588 Love, labour, and linocuts

#584 Brother artist at the edge

Drawbridge: Drawing Alongside My Brother’s Schizophrenia by Joan Boxall Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781773860022 Reviewed by Janet Nicol * A memoir told in ten lyrical essays, Drawbridge: Drawing Alongside My Brother’s Schizophrenia is Joan Boxall’s moving tribute to her brother, Stephen Corcoran. In the early 2000s, Joan became co-trustee of Stephen following…
Read more #584 Brother artist at the edge

#573 B.C.’s forgotten artists

The Ormsby Review presents a joint review of all ten books in the Unheralded Artists of B.C. Series from Mother Tongue Publishing of Salt Spring Island, 2008-2017. — Ed. Monika Ullmann, with an introduction by Brooks Joyner, The Life and Art of David Marshall (Mother Tongue: 2008) (UABC #1) Eve Lazarus, Claudia Cornwall, and Wendy Newbold…
Read more #573 B.C.’s forgotten artists

#560 Arbutus, sandstone, & Salish Sea

Love of the Salish Sea Islands: New Essays, Memoirs and Poems by 40 Island Writers by Mona Fertig (editor) and Gail Sjuberg (introduction) Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2019 $23.95 / 9781896949734 Reviewed by Theresa Kishkan * I first encountered the term “islomania” in Lawrence Durrell’s sublime Reflections on a Marine Venus, a memoir…
Read more #560 Arbutus, sandstone, & Salish Sea

#555 Arthur Erickson’s steel house

Eppich House II: The Story of an Arthur Erickson Masterwork by Greg Bellerby, with an introduction by Michelangelo Sabatino Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2019 $45.00 / 9781773270470 Reviewed by Martin Segger * This is the second volume in a series edited by Geoffrey Erickson and authorized by the Erickson family. (The first was Francisco Kirpacz:…
Read more #555 Arthur Erickson’s steel house

#553 From alienation to adulation

Flow: Poems Collected and New by Roy Miki, edited by Michael Barnholden Vancouver: Talonbooks 2018 $49.95 / 9781772012101 Reviewed by Grahame Ware * Condemned in utero as an Enemy Alien by the Dominion of Canada in 1942, the scholar and poet Roy Miki (born 1942) emerged as a pioneer of the Japanese-Canadian redress movement of the 1980s. Reviewer…
Read more #553 From alienation to adulation

#529 Poems & portraits of Chinatown

Chinatown Ghosts: The Poems and Photographs of Jim Wong-Chu by Jim Wong-Chu Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018 $19.95 /  9781551527482 Reviewed by LiLynn Wan First published April 13, 2019 * When Chinatown Ghosts was first published in 1986, Jim Wong-Chu broke a silence in Canadian literature. This slim volume of poetry was one of the…
Read more #529 Poems & portraits of Chinatown

#527 Canadian graffiti

Graffiti, Canadian Style by Ernest Hekkanen First published in The Ormsby Review, April 9, 2019 * It was twenty years ago, in 1999, that Ernest Hekkanen wrote this diatribe about why Vancouver public art is so godawful, why Canada’s granting agencies can be foolish or corrupt, and why he rejected a contract from a respected…
Read more #527 Canadian graffiti