Play around with the 21 Pillows exhibit at Thunder Bay Art Gallery
Exhibition is first major show for Cheryl Wilson-Smith from Red Lake, Ont.
It's rare that an artist wants people to take their exhibition, and move it around.
It's exactly what Cheryl Wilson-Smith wants patrons of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery to do, with her new exhibit, 21 Pillows.
The exhibition involves, as could be imagined, 21 pillows created by Wilson-Smith out of burlap bags, which hold 10,000 glass pieces. It took two years of work to create the pieces, some of which are layered glass, some of which are more round stone-like.
The pieces look like rocks, pieces of the granite Canadian Shield near Wilson-Smith's home in Red Lake, Ont.
"Hopefully people will come in and place, and create a landscape."
Wilson-Smith's latest exhibition has more muted colours than some of her other works, which she said more resembles the rock of northwestern Ontario.
Still, her layered works, which are somewhat sharp and jagged, with unique shapes, catch the eye on the burlap pillows, which also have many of her more rounded stones.
The more rounded pieces are created with powdered glass, but also with beach sand, imported from Florida. She said sand from northwestern Ontario tends to turn the art pieces red.
"When you pick up a layered piece, it's got another piece of glass inside that will rattle, and sound like breaking glass. I'm hoping that people just help move the landscape, because we all affect the environment, so how can we do it in this room."
Wilson-Smith said she hopes people who come to see the exhibit will get a bigger message out of the display.
"I'm hoping they all realize that we affect the environment and change it. For a long time, I blamed big business and corporate for our environmental problems. And, just recently, realized it's not just their fault. We're allowing it, we're changing it too.
"I'd love for people to get that message. But if they don't, that's fine. Maybe they'll get it in time."
21 Pillows runs until March 3, 2019 at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.