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December 2, 2011

Lines are pointing north as a new drawing gallery recently opened in North Bay, Ontario. I had the great pleasure of being part of Line Gallery’s inaugural show a few weeks ago. The gallery’s mandate focuses on discourses around Canadian drawing. Here’s an excerpt from a discussion that’s just begun…

Line Gallery–Why drawing? Why do you think you came to focus on drawing as opposed to another medium?

Olexander Wlasenko–Drawing is eternal. It’s ancient. When one thinks of the earliest forms of visual communication, thoughts turn to lines drawn in the sand or other kinds of mark-making. When I participate in drawing, I feel as though I’m in touch with something primordial. I feel I’m in commune with the infinite. It’s a contemporary feeling.   

LGAre there any artists or experiences that have shaped/influenced your practice? 

OW–I’ve been fully immersed in art and artists’ experience my entire life. My earliest memories of visual art were at home. My father was an untrained artist and many of his pictures were on the walls at home. It was sort of “do-it-yourself” decor for my immigrant parents. I suppose that had a profound impact from an early age. 

Galleries, museums, art history classes followed for decades… My instructors at the post-secondary schools had a big impact. Teachers like Natalka Husar and Cathy Daly at the Ontario College of Art still resonate with me. Margaret Priest at the University of Guelph and Sheila Butler at theUniversity of Western Ontario had a conceptual influence on my studio practice. Then there’s the vast numbers of artists that one is exposed to at school ranging from Gerhard Richter, Jan Fabre, Joseph Beuys and Vija Celmins to Titian and Degas. There’s a world of art.    

For complete interview click here

Artist talk at Nipissing University, 11/11/11!