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Explore the Dark Beauty of Catherine Hale’s Sculptures

February 13, 2012

(Charlottetown, PE, February 13, 2012) - Catherine Hale's artwork is dark, not just in sensibility, but literally black-a colour often associated with death and the unknown. The 84-year old Fredericton artist's retrospective exhibition, Catherine Hale: Between the Spirit and the Dust, will be on display at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery from February 11 through April 29. Hale is one of New Brunswick's most accomplished artists and her distinctive assemblages and textile hangings employ a Victorian or Gothic aesthetic. Long fascinated by objects and rituals associated with death and memory, Hale's sculptures often take the form of altars, shrines, or caskets. However, Hale's show is anything but morbid. For this artist, death actually seems to be an animating subject that intensifies her passion for life. Her energy and enthusiasm for creating is clearly visible in her work. She lives and breathes her art, and enjoys flaunting her "Goth" status and persona. "Hale, a voracious collector, re-configures, recuperates and transforms bits and pieces of discarded material into new and meaningful creations" says Kevin Rice, Director, Confederation Centre Art Gallery and "I am looking forward to seeing her unique pieces on view at the Gallery as I suspect these memento mori works will be intriguing for visitors."

Hale's art poses a critical challenge to a contemporary society that increasingly denies and avoids one of the most essential existential facts of human existence. Exhibition curator, Terry Graff, writes in the exhibition catalogue, "For Hale, the subject of death is central to the very necessity of art. Through her work, she proposes an open universally human conversation between life and death, or as the early American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-86) has described: ‘a dialogue between the spirit and the dust.'"

Catherine Hale: Between the Spirit and the Dust is organized and circulated by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. For more information regarding Gallery exhibitions, programs or hours, refer to our website, or email artgallery@confederationcentre.com, or phone 902-628-6111.

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PHOTO CUTLINE: Catherine Hale (Canadian, b. 1927), And Heaven Seems so Near, 2009, textile, Collection of the Artist

Media contact:
Tracy Stretch, Communications Manager, Confederation Centre of the Arts
902-628-6135 |902-314-5966
tstretch@confederationcentre.com | www.confederationcentre.com
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