Craig Francis Power: Les Fleurs du Mal
December 15, 2012-March 10, 2013
Curator: David Diviney
Hooked rugs have long been an established part of folk culture in Atlantic Canada, a craft form that for decades has captured the ties of this region to the land and sea through the familiar iconography – oxen, boats, lighthouses, etc. – we often associate with these decorative yet functional items. As those have done before him, Newfoundland artist Craig Francis Power embraces the narrative format of the hooked rug as a platform for storyboarding personal responses to daily life and experiences in the world around him. Rather than an idealized set of subject matter, however, the not-so-subtle imagery he puts forth – drunken people, garbage bags, scary weapons, sick animals, etc. – considers the full extent of the everyday, lumps and all. From the position of “the outsider,” Power tackles a host of uneasy topics – good and evil, religion, death, boredom, and artistry, just to name a few – in these darkly comic works and in his challenging single-channel videos too.
Image: Mummer, Seagull with garbage, fun, 2010. Hooked rugs by Craig Francis Power.