ISBN-10:
0889843023
ISBN-13:
9780889843028
Pub. Date:
07/01/2008
Publisher:
Porcupine's Quill, Incorporated
Off the Wall / Edition 1

Off the Wall / Edition 1

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Overview

Before the Canadian Government ended the jet interceptor project Urquhart, then a young artist, was consumed by a wish to design a hood ornament for the new fighter aircraft. He was hard to console when he first learned that the plane would not have a hood and his melancholy deepened when the entire project was stopped.

Hypnosis has brought Urquhart to an new understanding that the Arrow calamity drove him from the medium of titanium alloys and back into the embrace of your more basic wood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780889843028
Publisher: Porcupine's Quill, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/01/2008
Edition description: First
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Tony Urquhart is a painter, a sculptor and draughtsman. In the early sixties Urquhart was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy, the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour and the Canadian Society of Graphic Arts. He later resigned from these organizations to found CAR (Canadian Artists Representation) with Jack Chambers and Kim Ondaatje. He has taught in the art departments of McMaster, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Waterloo. 'Worlds Apart: The Symbolic Landsca

Michael Phillips was born in Saskatoon when Cokes were a nickel. He received all his formal education there and articled with a law firm before moving to Ottawa to join the Foreign Service. During his diplomatic career he served in Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Dublin, London, Stockholm and New York. He was Canadian Ambassador to Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia during the period 1991 to 1995. He was Ambassador to Ireland from 1996 to 1998 and Consul General in New York from 1998 to 2002. In Ot

Interviews

I have at various times made paintings, at other times sculptures and even prints, but I have always made drawings, even as a child. In 2002 I was honoured with a drawing retrospective, organized by Museum London and the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador. It also toured to the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and was hung at the National Gallery of Canada in the summer of 2003.

Terrance Heath, who guest curated the exhibition, decided, with my blessing, to include all types of my drawings except those concerning my opening box sculptures, which he felt were already well known (the boxes, not the drawings for them).

In order to facilitate the building of these sculptures I needed working drawings, idea drawings and even drawings of the stands upon which the sculptures would sit. These works were not ends in themselves, but nevertheless I always tried to make them as complete, interesting and exciting as I could. After all, one of my 'Artistic Heros' is Leonardo da Vinci.

I like these drawings but a book full of them, without explanation would be confusing and ultimately boring. A book with an explanation of the end result of each drawing would be even more tedious. It was a problem.

The solution appeared in the form of a friend of mine, The Honourable Michael Phillips. A career diplomat, Canada's Ambassador to Sweden and Ireland, he also served a term as Consul General in New York. On his retirement he has become a humourist. I am not sure whether his long service in Canada's diplomatic corps is directly related to this or not, nevertheless he is a very witty man. The box sculptures themselves are somewhat strange, surreal objects, in some ways almost absurd. The drawings can often be even more so, particularly if you are not familiar with the sculptures. Michael Phillips has written the comments as if he has happened across a batch of artistic drawings without knowing what they were for. He has hypothesized an artist/designer and tried to divine what might have been his purpose in designing these objects, and what happened to the various projects the artist had been attempting to realise or had been commissioned to do.

I think you will find the relationship of text to drawings, as well as the overall layout by Tim Inkster of Porcupine's Quill, quite amusing.

Preface

When I started this project with Tony I tried working in Dublin. I would spread his work out around me as I sat in a comfortable leather chair, bought for half the original sticker price although delivery took six months. Inspiration never came during the many hours I spent staring at the drawings. Most of the time I could think of nothing except escalating house prices.

It was only when I took the drawings to Kerry and Donegal that things began to come into focus. Imagination still runs free in these two Irish counties. No matter where you go the house next door has a ghost, often of an ill-treated servant girl. Phantom horse-drawn carriages rumble along the back roads after midnight heading god knows where. The little people still live up in the mountains although competition from the Far East has put most of them out of the shoe-making business.

In Kerry I shared my cottage with a lone mouse that rummaged through the garbage each night looking for scraps of Marks and Spencer ready meals. In Donegal a cat accompanied me home from the pub most nights and we often spoke about Canadian art. She was very knowledgeable and, oddly I thought, hated the Group of Seven.

Perhaps my greatest discovery in scrutinizing this selection of work is the industrial design talents of the artist. It appears he was unaware of this element of his talent. People go to school for years so they can end up designing ironing boards or perfume bottles that resemble parts of the human anatomy. The drawings that hint at industrial design are grouped together for ease of reference.

Readers will note that many of the drawings include pedestals. Some have been used as the basis for actual works of art during the artist's interminable Box Period. Other drawings include pedestals for no apparent reason except, perhaps, as a signal by the artist that he is fond of his own work.

Understanding the Box Period:

Since his retirement from the University of Waterloo Urquhart has sought professional help in his quest to better understand the influences that shaped his artistic impulses during what might be called his Box Period.

An amateur hypnotist from Wakaw, Saskatchewan, whom the artist met in a trailer park along the Trans-Canada Highway, was especially helpful. With this man dangling a silver dollar in front of his eyes Urquhart came to understand that his disappointment at the cancellation of the Avro Arrow project was more deep-seated than he had previously been willing to admit.

Before the Canadian Government ended the jet interceptor project Urquhart, then a young artist, was consumed by a wish to design a hood ornament for the new fighter aircraft. He was hard to console when he first learned that the plane would not have a hood and his melancholy deepened when the entire project was stopped.

Hypnosis has brought Urquhart to an new understanding that the Arrow calamity drove him from the medium of titanium alloys and back into the embrace of your more basic wood.—Michael Phillips

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Off the Wall 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Katya0133 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A collection of drawings by Tony Urquhart with satirical commentary by Michael B. Phillips. Very offbeat and funny.