On Thursday, May 9th, Gallery Gachet in Vancouver hosted a special evening around the current exhibit INTUIT: ART OF THE INTUITIVE. In an effort to shine light on intuitive art practices, a roundtable discussion examined the boundaries between outsider/visionary art and what is accepted as mainstream art.
The four exhibiting artists spoke about their work: Laurie Marshall, Hugh Lunn, Helen Keyes, and Kate Paulsen.
My apologies for the tiny photos at the top of this blog (I forgot to take my camera to the exhibit). The first two photos are of Laurie Marshall’s paintings. (See earlier blogs.) Laurie is one of my favourite outsider artists – his work is whimsical and creative. By the time I arrived, most of his paintings were sold, an outstanding accomplishment for any artist. Laurie took it all in stride.
I learned about Hugh Lunn (see large photograph at top), an artist who lives in Smith Falls, Ontario. (A friend and correspondent, Pierre Leichner, was there to present Lunn’s work.) Lunn learned drafting skills while studying engineering at Queens University (Canada). He worked in the Canadian Airforce until his mental health issues necessitated him leaving his employment. For the past 15 years, Lunn has been designing an aerospace craft that could break the light barrier and carry passengers on short range flights. He has drafted thousands of pages of airplane designs.
Lunn’s designs are rooted in his aeronautical knowledge, the Bible, and Star Trek. His technical drawings are done on large sheets of Mylar, and many are covered in writings about religious, political, and personal events. He proudly sent his drawings to the Queen of England and the President of the United States (although I understand they did not respond).
It is quite a sight to see Lunn’s “canvasses” hung in the gallery, and it is impossible to walk by them without stopping to examine the details. I wish Lunn could have been there to explain some of his ideas. I saw the exhibit with a young engineering student who was intrigued by the work, and spent hours poring over the specifications and patent information that Lunn had set out in separate letters. Could one of his drawings ever be successfully built? Lunn, for sure, is quite confident about his technological skills.
You can read more about Helen Keyes and Kate Paulsen’s beautiful work on Gallery Gachet’s website.