Argus Review: Definitely Superior Art Gallery Opening

Def Sup opens its doors for showing of “Red Room” exhibition

By Sabrina Nordlund

DefSup Gala Art Opening Artwork by Sarah - Link_Taken by Sam Charal

DefSup Gala Art Opening Artwork by Sarah – Link by Sam Charal

Definitely Superior Art Gallery, more commonly known as Def Sup, hosted an excellent exhibit that opened on September 30th. The Gallery was packed with students, artists, and enthusiasts alike, all enjoying and discussing the artwork over an assortment of baked treats, sushi, and drinks.

The show exhibits a collection of pieces created and collaborated on by artists Sarah Link and Riaz Mehmood. Link is well known to Thunder Bay and Lakehead University, where she formerly taught Visual Arts. Mehmood, on the other hand, is originally from Pakistan, and travelled to Thunder Bay specifically to collaborate with Link on this exhibit. There were a number of installations involving ceramics, multimedia, as well as video components.

The exhibit opened with a few words from the artists about their installations. Link discussed the inspirational role that the colour red played for her in the creation of her installations. Red, a colour so often associated with a variety of deep emotions, was one thing she wanted to explore through multimedia art and ceramic glaze.

When walking around the “Red Room” – a room that exhibits a wide range of her ceramic pieces, Link’s exploration of red through the red copper glaze she used is incredibly apparent. As a part of a larger collection, each piece is clearly an individual, as different shades and intensity of colour are created with the glaze. The different effects and hues of red that are created demonstrates the unpredictability of the ceramic art, as Link puts it, the “atmosphere of placement of thoughts, simplicity of form, affirmation of the glazes, and serendipity all played a role in the drum of the fire.”

It is then easy to forget the amount of talent involved in creating the ceramic pieces – even before they were glazed and fired. When opening her collection, Link mentioned that it was only “…after 8 fires over two winters in the production kiln at Lakehead University, two or three pots emerged that embodied the aesthetic that [she] was searching for.” Within this process, Link explored red copper glaze, but she also created a wide variety of ceramic pieces. The collection includes teapots and mugs as well as plates, and exemplifying Link’s talents in both thrown ceramics, as well as hand built pieces.

DefSup Gala Art Opening Artwork by Sarah - Link Taken by Sam Charal

DefSup Gala Art Opening Artwork by Sarah – Link Taken by Sam Charal

Riaz Mehmood brought a different perspective to the exhibit, one that involved multimedia and technological aspects. In his opening speech he gave insight into how his installations functioned technologically, and how he was inspired to create them. His installations are intriguing whether one understands the intended purpose or not.

One room at DefSup projected a poem onto a dark screen. Upon first inspection of the room, guests wandering in to read the poem will find the words scatter across the screen. As one stops to watch the letters dance, the poem recollects on the screen. Mehmood’s artwork places an Xbox in the room to map occupants’ movements – scattering the words of the poem unless the room is still. Mehmood explained in his introduction that this was inspired by his love for poetry and the process of reading poetry: “You need to have that time to read it, and to ponder over it, and to enjoy. This is the idea that if you move, then the words will just all spread out and break down.”

The Gallery was brimming with insightful individuals, all appreciating and discussing the artwork. An art exhibit opening can be an intimidating event, but the ambiance was friendly and cheerful. The artwork at this particular exhibition is both interactive and inspiring.

The Sarah Link/Riaz Mehmood exhibit is on at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery (250 Park Ave, Suite 101) from September 30th until October 29th, 2016. For more information about the exhibit and its artists, visit www.definitelysuperior.com/.

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