AT THE ALTON MILL ARTS CENTRE
Reception: Saturday October 2, 2010 1-4 pm
Exhibition runs to January 3, 2011.
Being is a stunning showcase of 18 large-scale figurative sculptures set against the backdrop of the Alton Mill's autumn landscape.
Ted Fullerton is an artist intrigued by dualisms – by the systems we use to define our human experience (and the lore we construct to make sense of it). His work weaves together a fascination with myth and pure physicality: he explores opposition, contrast and paradox, folding the delicate narratives of humanist inquiry into the incredible weight of his sculpted figures.
In Axis Mundi (2004), for instance, two massive bodies signify the amorphous “point of connection between earth and sky”; it is through their bulk, stacked one on top of the other, that Fullerton expresses the “numinous union of the mystical and the existent.”
Throughout Being he uses the figure as a rich palette for symbolic play. These are dense, static bodies, very much alive in texture; there is, at times, a buoyancy in their physical heaviness — in the nuances of the commentary they bear and in the ability of some to exist suspended in air.
It is on the body that Fullerton investigates the social concepts that lace it: he manipulates gender identity, turning assumptions about strength and vulnerability (literally) on their head. It is with the sparing application of colour that he infers the possibility of regeneration or communicates our simultaneous capacity for “love and aggression.”
Works like Knuckle Dragger (2010) and Achilles (2003) call attention to cycles of human “folly” — our refusal “to learn from our past” — while Squaring the Circle (2003) alludes to the “perfect balance” (red contrasted by green, horizontal and vertical axes anchored by their intersection) that defines human creation.
In these oppositions, Fullerton achieves a certain harmony, revealing himself as “a believer of the possibility of positive change” and as an artist “interested in excavating … meaning” rather than applying it.
About Ted Fullerton
Fullerton works in contemporary painting, printmaking and sculpture, and has achieved awards in all three media. His significant sculpture commissions are for the City of Kitchener, and the Davenport Architectural Corp. He has exhibited across Canada as well as in the US, England, Australia, Spain and Yugoslavia. Fullerton's works are in private, corporate and public collections including the Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC; Oregon State University, Oregon, USA; Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, ON; University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON; and Markborough Properties, Halifax, NS.
Ted Fullerton graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1976. In 1993 and 1994, he was artist-in-residence at Cape Dorset, and at Canadore College in North Bay. He is presently a Professor and coordinator of the Fine Arts program at Georgian College in Barrie, ON.
The Alton Mill in the village of Alton, Ontario was built in 1881 by William Algie and operated as the Beaver Knitting Mill. It has recently been lovingly rehabilitated by the Seaton Group, into an arts and heritage centre. The beautiful stone mill now houses art studios and galleries, offices for creative professionals, specialty retail, event spaces, a café and an industrial heritage exhibit. Awarded the Heritage Canada Foundation's national achievement award for adaptive reuse in 2009, the Alton Mill stands proudly on the banks of Shaw's Creek, a tributary of the Credit River, in the heart of the Caledon hills just south of Orangeville. It is a scenic 45-minute drive northwest of Toronto.
This exhibition has been jointly produced by the Alton Mill and Headwaters Arts, with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council. A portion of the proceeds from sales goes to support Headwaters Art.
Alton Mill Arts Centre
1402 Queen St. W., Alton, ON, L7K 0C3
Wed-Sun 10 am -5 pm