“Sweet to the tongue, Sound to the Eye, Come Buy, Come Buy…” – Christina Rossetti
“There’s a long tradition of films and books and art created to ease a troubling time,” said Fredericton visual artist, Kim Vose Jones. “These have become the ideas we covet. We covet our privileges. I’m not sure if it’s a bad or a good thing. It’s just something that exists.”
Covet, currently on display at Florenceville-Bristol’s Andrew and Laura McCain Art Gallery, brings together three New Brunswick contemporary artists in an exploration of indulgence and desire, through a variety of media. The exhibit centers on an audio-visual work by Andrew Reed Miller, mural paintings by Deanna Musgrave and an installation by Vose Jones.
“The idea came about through a conversation with Deanna and Andrew,” she said. “We were discussing the idea of exploring the multifaceted concept of indulgence and desire. The idea grew from there.”
Covet is equal parts intrigue and aversion.
On the surface, Musgrave’s enormous mural, Isaac, a stunning tribute to her late stepson, stands as an unlikely compliment to Miller’s video montage highlighting the seductive qualities of a pop star’s figure and appearance.
“Some of the work is dark and personal and some of it is humorous,” said Vose Jones. “We were kind of thinking about what it means to create something that’s just out of your reach, or when you have your heart set on something unobtainable. Basically, what it means to long for something. It could be an object or it could be an idea.”
Vose Jones’ main piece, Candyland, The Sky is Falling, presents antique child manikins in a volatile environment, surrounded by interpretations of fantasy, self image and the inaccessible limits of the everyday.
“The piece plays a bit on what is real and what is unreal,” she said. “There is real candy in the instillation but most of it is fake, created out of sculptural material. For me, the work is a glimpse into the idea of cultural decadence and the fantastical abundance we have within our world of consumer culture. We’re all engaged in this consumer frenzy from a very privileged position and in some ways, this is a complete delusion of prosperity, used to mask the realities of debt and poverty. It’s about gluttony.”
Balanced between seduction and poison, Cinderella meets Hansel and Gretel in Vose Jones latest work. Created specifically for Covet, Candyland, The Sky is Falling is a clever disguise – enticing and horrific.
“It’s meant to be playful as well,” she said. “It’s not completely dark. That’s something I’m interested in – the playfulness that exists between something that’s seductive and something that’s dark. It points towards a larger idea. We’re bombarded by so many images everyday. I’m just trying to observe them and break them down a little bit.”