Sights, sounds, sto­ries

Albany Advertiser - - AGENDA - Shan­non Smith

Cre­ativ­ity runs through Jes­sica Danz’s veins, com­bin­ing a stun­ning vis­ual art ex­hi­bi­tion and mu­si­cal per­for­mance as the Van­cou­ver Arts Cen­tre artist-in-res­i­dence.

Danz is a singer, multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist, com­poser and vis­ual artist from Perth, host­ing solo ex­hi­bi­tion The River at the cen­tre, in­spired by the Kal­gan River and its sur­rounds.

As an ex­plo­ration of sto­ry­telling, she said The River came in three parts, of which her mu­si­cal per­for­mance and the in­stalled work are two. The third is a lim­ited-edi­tion artist’s book.

“It will in­ves­ti­gate not only a se­ries of real rivers and their sur­round­ing land­scapes, but also the more ab­stract no­tion of the river as a pow­er­ful sym­bol in dream and myth,” she said. “I'm in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing both the sim­i­lar­i­ties and con­trasts be­tween the South West area of WA and the land­scapes of my cur­rent home in the Outer He­brides, Scot­land.

“Some of the more re­cent works in the ex­hi­bi­tion were cre­ated dur­ing the last two years of liv­ing and trav­el­ling in the north­ern hemi­sphere and they ex­plore my re­sponses to those north­ern land­scapes.”

Ex­plor­ing the way in which peo­ple see and re­late to land­scapes, par­tic­u­larly the hid­den, se­cret land­scapes of our in­ner selves, are the fo­cus of her works.

The vis­ual in­stal­ment of The River will ex­plore draw­ing, paint­ing, print­mak­ing, tex­tiles and video.

The mu­si­cal per­for­mance will fea­ture Danz’s cap­ti­vat­ing voice and en­tic­ing pi­ano and vi­o­lin ar­range­ments.

She said pre­sent­ing a com­bined ex­hi­bi­tion open­ing and per­for­mance was a re­flec­tion of the way she pre­ferred to work.

“My in­spi­ra­tions come from the in­ter­sec­tions, col­li­sions and com­bi­na­tions of these di­verse el­e­ments, and I am fas­ci­nated by the mul­ti­tude of ways in which they might be wo­ven to­gether to cre­ate new work. I see the river as a sym­bol of many dif­fer­ent kinds of jour­neys — the jour­ney from birth to death, the nav­i­ga­tion of dream rivers, and the mys­te­ri­ous trav­els we make through psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tional ter­rain.”

The River opens at VAC to­day, with an of­fi­cial open­ing on Fri­day at 6pm, fol­lowed by her mu­si­cal per­for­mance at 7pm. It runs un­til Novem­ber 18.

Danz’s work Wo­ven Land­scape. Perth artist Jes­sica Danz is ex­hibit­ing at VAC.

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