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Rock Show

At the intersection of art + music

Curated by David Diviney, Curator of Exhibitions

July 11 - September 28, 2014

From Hanks Snow’s emotional lyrics to the Rankin Family’s Celtic roots, Portia White’s contralto voice to Anne Murray’s uplifting single Snowbird, the varied sounds of this place and its people have been recognized far and wide for decades if not longer. While perhaps best known still for folk songs and traditional tunes, Nova Scotia recording artists have in recent years earned recognition in all genres of music. 


Groups such as Sloan and Jale rock-n-rolled their way to prominence in the early 1990s.  Soon, bad boy Ashley MacIsaac gave Cape Breton fiddling a contemporary makeover with his hit Sleepy Maggie. And let’s not forget about Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair tour of 1996-97. In the 2000s, DJs Buck 65 and Classified helped fuel the emergence of hip hop in the capital city. Today, performances by Wintersleep and Joel Plaskett Emergency, among others, keep this province on the radio charts. 

Music has always been and continues to be an integral part of Nova Scotia’s cultural identity. It should come as no surprise that this realm is seen as fertile ground to explore for visual artists in Halifax and beyond. 

With a local spin, this group exhibition delves into the influence of music as subject and subculture on contemporary visual artists and their art making through a sampling of works from the Permanent Collection complemented by key loans from several artists with ties to the region.  Included are examples by David Askevold, Carl Beam, Thierry Delva, Greg Forrest, Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg, Eleanor King, Annie Leibovitz, Craig Leonard, Lisa Lipton, William Robinson, Tom Sherman and Jan Pottie, and Mitchell Wiebe.

 

Image: Installation view of Eleanor King’s Endless Practice, 2011-12, on view at MOCCA for the 2012 Sobey Art Award.