David Thauberger - How Saskatchewan Folk Artists Influenced His Work
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What I discovered is that there was a whole community of older, I’ll use the word artists, they were really retired farmers and so forth…they were elderly people who had retired and who were really painting on their own, they were self taught artists. Making work in places like Zealandia, Saskatchewan, or Saskatoon or Regina. Through meeting the folk artists I began to be more and more interested in paintings and making paintings of this place, you know, of Saskatchewan, of Regina, of the rural kind of lifestyle that we live here or that I had sort of grown up living in…and tried to incorporate that as a subject in my paintings. So I was flipping back and forth between clay sculpture and painting. But shortly after this, probably about the end of the 1970s I stopped working with clay altogether and really focused on making paintings. So I was again, as I had done in clay, I was trying to figure out, as a young artist, how to make pictures that were my own, that looked like mine and not like somebody else’s. And there are some ways, some strategies I guess, some ideas that I adopted that tried to deal with that. So one of them was this pattern kind of picture. I remember when I was making those paintings I would get comments from people, people in the arts actually, who said, "Well, you know painting doesn’t look like that." And I thought “That’s really cool! That’s exactly the kind of response…” …I think they kind of meant it as a criticism, but I took it as a compliment, that painting doesn’t look like that. In fact, that’s exactly what I am trying to get to…I am trying to get to things that look like my things. So I continued to work like that and work in that model, but trying to bring more and more of a prairie kind of imagery. So I started to make in the backgrounds of some of the paintings…I started to make paintings to include views of my hometown, or views of the farm that I spent my summers at with the farmhouse, or the barn, or some of the grain bins and so forth. And it really evolved until I kind of edited out the sort of repeat bird-animal things, screen in the front entirely, and focused really on the buildings and the landscape. And that’s really the subject matter that I’ve continued to evolve and explore. Ever since it’s really what I refer to as the built landscape, so it’s the buildings, but it’s also the landscape and the references to landscape.

Duration: 2:48 min
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