Bushwhack: To make one’s way through woods by cutting away at undergrowth, often where no path exists. “one who beats the bushes.”
Whacked: completely exhausted, crazy, unstable.
featuring Walt Humphries, Yellowknife NWT & Jaret Penner, Mission B.C. This show traveled to PWNHC and to Sir John Highschool, YK.
Walt’s drawings, from the 1970s & 80s, describe the life of prospectors and bush-hands in the north. Good art is always more than one thing, and his is full of humour, pathos, imagination. He drew his literal bush-camp environment but also his thought-life. You can see bits of narration in these works, but also reoccuring characters. The rabbit, for example, is an imaginary side-kick. Because, who else is there to talk to when alone in the bush for weeks on end? These dynamic pen & inks help us walk in Walt’s prospecting shoes and psyche. Whether the ink is scribbled quickly or is dense and black, it is always applied with a sense of creative exploration and play.
Jaret’s acryllic paintings, loose and gestural, show a vision of lumberjacks in the Fraser Valley of B.C. At first, these paintings appear to be simple and silly – clownish lumberjacks? – but with repeated viewings they sit less and less easily in the mind. Are these paintings a satirization of masculine tropes, or a farcical take on BC ‘woodsiness,’ or are they just whimsical portraits of bufoonish drunks? Or, maybe all of the above? Who are these bizarre, blush-nosed, flower-sniffing men? Are these lumber-clowns happy, or are they outcasts -terribly sad?