Joanne Filletti’s cave art

I just knew that the Filletti solo show of drawings would be a challenge to photograph. She has defied the walls and corners of Gerrard Art Space, using rumpled paper of various colours and textures to sculpt a cavern. Walls are coved into the ceiling and rounded out to the floor, creating an irregular tunnel that transforms the space and atmosphere.

It’s theatre, sculpture, drawing, installation art and a happening, all twisted and rolled into one big thing.

It’s fair to say that Filletti’s primary art form is drawing. The show exhibits uncountable numbers of them … life drawings produced over a span of many years. One was dated 1985, others were probably done this summer. Media vary; some pencil, some brush, some conté and lots of charcoal. What better, more primordial material than charcoal for an art cave.

Recyled paper, rolled into tubular ropes and tied into 3D shapes. Paper stalactites and stalagmites.

This is heady stuff, in the sense that it romps through art history from the very beginning, thousands of years ago, right up to today. It challenges art-as-commodity in a very contemporary way. It erases boundaries and categories. It is smart without looking it. I like that a lot.

It’s also body stuff … obviously the drawings are nude figures of life models … but I am referring to the sensations created in viewers. We are not viewers really, we are participants occupying the show. The paper shares our space and the drawings pull us along the walls. You must move through, craning your neck and constantly changing your angles of view to see it all.

Much of the paper is salvaged from film set construction studios where Filletti often works.

The show is one of those “you have to be there” experiences, as any good installation should be. Do go. I’ll put the hours and location below. Take your imagination along for the ride.

Joanne Filletti founded Gerrard Art Space a few years ago and is, of course, an active member herself. Members get an annual solo show each year, or may share a membership and have a two-party show. There are also group shows throughout the year, of work by members and non-members. Check the web site for details if you are an artist.

How’s this for an unprecious, unintimidating art show?

 I Was Here: drawing installation by Joanne Filletti, September 11 – 29
Open: Wednesday – Sunday,  2pm-7pm [MAP]