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Canmore artist Hudson explores existential passing of time in Harcourt show

Marcia Pitch also plays Frankenstein with dolls

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012 06:00 am

MY DARLING DEVIANTS – This  unique work is by artist Marcia Pitch.
MY DARLING DEVIANTS – This unique work is by artist Marcia Pitch.
CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

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Around the Sun by Dan Hudson, and My Darling Deviants by Marcia Pitch
On until Saturday, Oct. 13
Harcourt House Gallery
Third Floor, 10215 112 Street in Edmonton
For more information, call 780426-4180 or visit

Time is running out to catch Dan Hudson’s internationally acclaimed show, Around the Sun, at downtown Edmonton’s Harcourt House Gallery.

Once you get to the multimedia exhibit, however, it will seem like time is going faster and slower too.

There are three looped videos playing simultaneously from Alberta’s mountain parks: a rustic market street with pedestrians, a river in the shadows of the Rockies, and a park setting with a hockey rink.

The videos, filmed over many months, are time lapsed so the seasons transpire quickly. A full year passes in a few minutes, but the people on the street walk in slow motion. The sounds of radio news, weather and sports are heard to give the audience an added dimension of what actually happened in that time but the synchronicity isn’t important.

It’s mesmerizing to sit on the benches and watch life pass before your eyes. It’s not the viewer’s life but one does get a strong sense of mortality coupled with a renewed vigour for carpe diem.

If you stay long enough, images repeat themselves. Or do they?

Hudson says that it’s memory that enables us to perceive the existence of time.

“We all know we’re flying through space on a little rock in the abyss. There’s lots of things happening. The sun’s orbiting around in the galaxy, and the galaxy is moving through space. It just gets so abstract from our day to day reality that it’s almost meaningless,” he explained.

“The one thing that does have meaning is this Earth orbiting around the sun, which is a year. We’re travelling through space at 100,000 kilometres an hour. The manifestation of that, of us standing on the surface of the planet, is the seasons.”

This traveling exhibit has received much acclaim with five international awards and has seen some exotic ports around the globe including stops in Germany and Spain.

Strange dolls

Marcia Pitch almost takes all of the attention away from Hudson, as she displays her toy collection in the front gallery but it’s not like any other around unless the viewer is familiar with the disturbed works of Sid the neighbour kid in the original Toy Story movie.

Dozens of dolls have been reconfigured into monstrous combinations, making the viewer wonder if Dr. Frankenstein is alive and well and running loose in second-hand shops, scooping up old dolls for future amputation.

While it is a one-note show that likely only obsessive or morbid types would examine thoroughly, it still raises a level of interest for how creative an artist can be with whatever materials are at hand.

They are meant to represent the loss of innocence. The nightmare-inducing images will undoubtedly ensure that goal.


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