Rites & Remedies installation view"Antidote" detailOnce Daily"A Miraculous Cure for the Deaf"Rites & Remedies installation viewRites & Remedies installation view"Icon I" and "Icon II""Icon II" detailRites & Remedies installation view"Seven (Heavenly/Deadly)" detail"Antidote""Antidote" detailSmall Miracle (WIne to Water)"Remembering the Book V""Remembering the Book V" detail"Remembering the Book III""Remembering the Book VIII"Rites & Remedies installation viewRites & Remedies installation view"Open Bible (Ash Cross)""Open Bible (Ash Cross)""Open Bible (Nail Arch)""Open Bible (Nail Arch)"Rites & Remedies installation view"Penny Candy"Artist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist TalkArtist Talk

Antidote by Paul RoordaPaul Roorda: Rites & Remedies
March 13 - May 24, 2012
Reception and Artist Talk:
March 13th  12:00 – 1:30pm


Missed Paul Roorda's Artist Talk? Watch it here.

 

  • Artist Statement
  • About the Artist
  • Curator's Statement
  • Works in the Exhibit
  • By transforming found objects and discarded Bibles into sculpture and mixed media collage I investigate changing belief systems, the construction of knowledge and the practice of ritual in religion, science and medicine. The world of faith is tempered by scientific reason and supposedly science-based medicine is steeped in ritual and belief. We seek tangible remedies for ailing souls just as we grasp at ritualistic cures for the body. 

    I’ve always been interested in the tension associated with the questioning of traditions.  While it continues to thrive, for many people, traditional religion is something for scrutiny and often faith is abandoned in skepticism.  But this is frequently accompanied by ambivalence.  Using fire, gold leaf, ashes and elements of discarded Bibles, some of the work transforms traditional Christian art by creating ceremonial vessels, reliquaries and icons which reflect a post-devotional, neo-liturgical approach to the disposal of aged and damaged sacred texts.  Other art starts with the Bible and incorporates ritualistic processes such as creating tiny scrolls, burning paper or preparing wine to create various remedies.  The work in this exhibition suggests a deterioration of certainty, both physical and spiritual, as well as our desperate attempts to heal, and failing that, memorialize.

    Paul Roorda

    Paul Roorda is a Canadian artist who transforms found materials to create two-dimensional art, sculpture, and outdoor site-specific installations that examine the relationship between religion, medicine, science, and environmentalism.   He exhibits his work regularly in public art galleries as well as academic and religious institutions, both in Canada and internationally.   In Canada, Paul Roorda has had numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at the Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery, the Institute for Christian Studies, and Wilfrid Laurier University.   He will be exhibiting new work at the Doug Adams Gallery in Berkeley, California, in 2014.  

    Paul Roorda has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.  He has also been awarded many prizes for his art in juried exhibitions and was a finalist for Australia’s Blake Prize.  His work is found in private and public collections including the Donovan Collection at the University of Toronto.  Paul Roorda was the Artist in Residence for the City of Kitchener, Ontario, in 2007 and completed a residency at GlogauAIR in Berlin in 2012.   He has also been the subject of an episode of “The Artist’s Life”, a popular artist profile series which aired on Bravo TV.   His work can be seen at www.paulroorda.com.  

    Paul Roorda’s sincerity is palpable in his work.  True, his stated objective is to transform found materials to create art.  True, he openly declares that his intention is to examine the relationship between religion, science and environmentalism. And while we are presented with works possessing witty titles and double entendres —in some cases startling, perhaps even alarming juxtapositions— we also come face to face with the raw potential of recycling, repurposing, even ‘upcycling’ the cast-offs of long vanished, anonymous users.

    Another truth is revealed when we consider Roorda’s handling of disposed, aged and damaged sacred texts:  the care, concept, concern and sacramental action required in his visual alchemy.  As he patiently deconstructs every worn Bible one page at a time, whether by burning or when meditatively rolling each tiny scroll of scripture and inserting it into its new gelatin capsule, we may, perhaps, come face-to-face with a new version of holiness, a precious Miracle Cure.

    Here we see recasting, renewal, re-invention:  Roorda’s work has the capacity to lead disenchanted viewers to become intrepid seekers, paralleling the road many of us may travel on our faith journey.  His creative elixirs hearken back to the Renaissance, when pharmacists and artists belonged to the same guild.  In the Rites and Remedies Paul Roorda has administered, he achieves his primary goal:  to do no harm, but to create something fascinating, something challenging, but also something very, very beautiful.

    Trudi Ludwig Johnson, Curator Dadian Gallery

    Penny Candy Vintage candy machine, Bible pages, gelatin capsules, 2012
    Necessary Qualifications of a First Aider
    Blood, crushed stone, rust, gold leaf, beeswax and vintage book pages on paper, 2008
    The Dead Christ and Four Bearers
    Blood, crushed stone, rust, gold leaf, beeswax and vintage book pages on paper, 2008
    Death is not to be assumed
    Blood, crushed stone, rust, gold leaf, beeswax and vintage book pages on paper 2008
    Reliquary Altered Bible and ashes, with antique lectern, 2012
    Remembering the Book VIII Altered Bible, with ashes and egg yolk, 2012
    Remembering the Book V Altered Bible, with ashes and egg yolk, 2012
    Remembering the Book III Altered Bible, with ashes and egg yolk, 2012
    Emergency Childbirth
    Blood, crushed stone, rust, gold leaf, beeswax and vintage book pages on paper, 2008
    Antidote Bible pages, ashes and glass vials, 2006
    Icon II Cut Bible pages, ashes and egg yolk, 2012
    Icon I Cut Bible pages, 2012
    Silent Word Burned bible pages, egg yolk, beeswax, gold leaf, 2011
    Three Bearers
    Blood, crushed stone, rust, gold leaf, beeswax and vintage book pages on paper, 2008
    Crown of Thorns and Capeline Bandage
    Blood, crushed stone, rust, gold leaf, beeswax and vintage book pages on paper, 2008
    Crucified Christ with Bandages
    Blood, crushed stone, rust, gold leaf, beeswax and vintage book pages on paper, 2008
    Once Daily Bible pages, gelatin capsules and antique bottles, 2005
    A Miraculous Cure for the Deaf Hymnbook pages, gelatin capsules and antique bottle, 2006
    Open Bible V (Stone Bookmark) Bible with embedded stone, 2007
    Open Bible III (Ash Cross) Bible with nails, 2005
    Open Bible IV (Nail Arch) Bible with nails, 2007
    Small Miracle (Wine to Water) Vintage glass with wine distilled and purified into water, 2008
    Seven (Heavenly/Deadly) Syringes with fermented dye extracted from Gideon Bibles, 2007
    Once Daily (New Testament)
    Bible pages, gelatin capsules and antique bottles, 2005 (President’s office) 

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