Heart Break by Cynthia O’Brien


Sometimes I’m moved to write, so here’s what prompted me

“Heartbreak as evolution of the heart. That’s what I thought after taking in Cynthia’s white clay ‘Heartbreak’ seen here at her studio residency at Blink Gallery (don’t miss it this and next weekend). She worked through some heart ache at her residency in Vallauris, France where this piece was begun. Vallauris is the town where Picasso married his last wife, Jacqueline Roque, when she was 26. She killed herself there at 59. Vallauris is known for it’s potters, and Picasso created numerous sculptures and paintings there. The potters he worked with are uncredited. So, yeah, lots of heartache, bled out white. This is a moving piece”

Blog by Barbara Cuerden

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O’Brien’s Treasures


I stopped by Cynthia’s make shift studio in Major’s Hill Park yesterday. She is currently working on hard on some dark stars built from curved slabs of grey clay. The result are stunning sculptures with sharp arcs and machine age glamour.
There was also a wide selection of pieces from different eras in Cynthia’s work as well some objects serving as inspiration ranging from art postcards, to quotes posted on the wall, to Royal Dalton Figurines.

Don’t miss the blow out sale this Sunday the 30th, from 12 to 5! Whether it’s a beautiful seed pod, a dangling blossom, a many armed vase, or large mouthed amphibian. There’s sure to be something you like…


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Pulp and Prose: Rob Friday and Jenny McMaster


Pulp and Prose

During their residency at Blink Gallery Rob Friday and Jenny McMaster will investigate the local history and natural environment through the lens of the artist book.

Artist and poet, Rob Friday spent his formative years in a little town, once renowned for its vast quantity of lumber and minerals. His prose and poetry will provide a context for the show as he blends ‘dreamlike’ qualities with the reality of industry and development. The water, the land and the production of pulp will be woven together in passages that convey the true formation of the Ottawa landscape

Mixed Media Artist Jenny McMaster intends to investigate the connective tissues which hold together narrative and verse through the deconstruction of the cohesive package of a book. Pulp, water, thread and print are the essential elements of good binding or book making. All will be fair game for raw materials as well as subject matter.

The artists will be at work at Blink: 

12-5pm, Friday the 7th through Sunday the 9th and Friday the 14th through Sunday the 16th.

Come to a Reading by Rob Friday Sunday the 16th at 3pm

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Radjenovic Update

Here are a few more photos from Bozica Radjenovic’s residency.


What did she have in mind?


The ventilation system…


Sweet and Sour Fruits of her labours..


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An Exercise In Style: Bozica Radjenovic at Blink Gallery


(Photos by Tom Evans)

During the last two weeks of July, Bozica Radjenovic has occupied Blink Gallery. She is an interdisciplinary artist who works in sculpture, drawing, installation, and performance art. In regards to this summer’s stay at Blink, Radjenovic states:

As the date of my residency approached, I toyed with a few different ideas. The only thing they had in common was they existed in my head. First I wanted to examine the relationship between big galleries versus small galleries, then I wanted to use the draft blowing from Blink Gallery’s new ventilation system in someway, and then I wanted to cook as I was drawing and draw the way I cooked. Within this cacophony of ideas, I was unable to choose a particular target, so I treated Blink as mental space containing the full assortment of thoughts in my mind. Come to Blink Gallery and take a peek into my head…

Meet the artist at the gallery: Friday July 31st, Saturday August 1st and Sunday August 2nd from noon to 5pm.

Parking is limited to 3 cars.


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Residency Update: Michael Ashley


How do you visualize such an immense catastrophe as the First World War? This is the question I’ve been dwelling on during my residency at Blink Gallery this past week. Please join me on Sunday afternoon, July 19, to see what I’ve developed.

This documentary project was inspired by the centenary of the Great War. Millions around the world were affected by this vast event and my installation uses words, pictures and sound to capture some of the impressions left by those involved. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to add their own impressions to the collection.

The installation includes material considering the big picture of the war, and its impact, as well as material related to the war experience of one Canadian, William George Barker. Pictured above, Barker started his war in the trenches of the Western Front and ended it, badly wounded, as the most decorated aviator in the British Empire. He survived the conflict only to die in a flying accident at Rockcliffe aerodrome.

Although the installation won’t be finalized until Sunday, you are welcome to drop in to visit and preview my work on Friday, July 17, or on Saturday, July 18, between noon and five pm.

Best regards

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First Residency of the Season: Michael Ashley


This week Blink kicks off a summer of residencies with audio visual artist Michael Ashley. The subject of his explorations will be Impressions of the Great War, 1914 -1918.

Visit the artist at work between 12 and 5, Friday the 10th through Sunday the 12th, and the following weekend between Friday the 17th through Sunday the 19th. On the last day of the residency the artist will present his work.

Stay tuned for in progress blog postings with photos by the artist!

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Performance Art in the Capital

lymph nymph at blink gallery (screen capture from video)Blink Gallery would like to thank Karina Bergmans and Héléne Lefebvre for bringing performance to the capital. During the Blink picnic on June 14 the artists staged two very different pieces.
Karina Bergmans’ recent exhibition Ligaments and Ligatures at City Hall Gallery, featured vital organs in the human body. Her performance Lymph Nymph draws on a similar theme, this time creating an animated being to illustrate the inner workings of anatomy. As Bergmans explains:

A lymph node is part of the endocrine system. There are hundreds of small nodes found in specific locations of the human body, such as the neck, the arm pit, and the groin. Lymph nodes work as part of the cleansing and drainage system of the blood as well as the site of production for white blood cells, the body’s defence system.
A nymph has two definitions. First, it is a character of Greek mythology, most often a forest-living female deity. The second definition of a nymph is a larvae form of invertebrate animals such as an insect. The LYMPH NYMPH is being developed through the creation of 100 lymph nodes, a body suit and a parachute!

At 1pm on this fine sunny day in Major’s Hill Park a slinky green creature crept from Header House’s garage and went in search of lymph. The lymph took the form of chains of a green gossamer substance which attendants of the performance helped the nymph recover. She then linked these chains to her person in the locations that swell up when our bodies are “fighting something off”. The performance was concluded with the artist and audience participants converged around a parachute. The parachute was then drawn upwards and downwards to mimic the workings of the endocrine system. The green trees and grass of the park were certainly an ideal location to cleanse ourselves of any toxins we may have accumulated over the course of the week.

At 3pm Héléne Lefebvre emerged from the bushes to the right of Blink’s back patio dressed in black to perform Space of the Other. As Lefebvre states:

The performance took into consideration the specifics of the location, that is, the historical context including the proximity of the Ottawa River and Victoria Island, Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court as well as St Paul’s cathedral. The performance was ritualistic in nature and lasted some thirty minutes.

Space of the Other BLINK 2015 H LefebvreLefebvre walked quietly from the right side of the outdoor space and turned her head to listen to the church bells of St Paul as they chimed from across Sussex. This was serendipitous as the piece dealt with cultural and religious conflict between Native peoples and Europeans. Lefebvre talked expressively to the spectators in an unreal language she often uses in her work, perhaps bespeaking an earnest effort to communicate but an ultimate failure.
The performance took the form of a stripping down. Lefebvre removed her black dress and shoes and then, with the help of a young girl seated on the flagstones, she unravelled a long bandage from her torso until she was naked but for a pair of nylons and a camisole. Towards the end of the piece, Lefebvre picked up a bouquet of long stemmed red roses and held them pensively. Then with a shocking show of force she whipped one of the flowers downwards causing the bloom to explode, its petals scattering across the ground. To our relief the remainder of the roses were passed to the viewers perhaps in an act of peacemaking.
Lefebvre states adamantly that what she does is not about acting but about abandoning herself to the audience and the place. The performance was poignant and very emotional. There was a painful bond between the artist and the viewers. The artist stated afterwards that she had difficulty leaving the performance space because she felt she was still held by our eyes. Abject exposure, communicating the incommunicable and attempting to reconcile for horrendous past transgressions all figured in Lefebvre’s piece, leaving the viewer with equal desire to look on with undivided attention and to look away.

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Blink in this month’s issue of Ottawa Magazine

BLINK  OTTAWA MAGAZINEYou’ve got to love us!

Pick up a copy of this month’s print edition of Ottawa Magazine for reasons to love Blink Gallery!

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Dejeuner sur l’herbe chez Blink!

dejeuner sur l'herbe  Sunday at BlinkCome on out for the Blink Picnic this Sunday the 14th from 12-3 pm, for water melon, potluck and a collaborative effort at the world’s longest hopscotch, not to mention two great performances…

Karina Bergmans at 1pm

Helen Lefebvre at 2:30pm

Nous serons la, tout la gang!



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