The Nanaimo Art Gallery, campus location, 900 Fifth Street, is currently showing an exhibit entitled Video Art Therapy by artists Brian MacDonald, Scott Evans, Aston Coles, and Tor Jorgen van Eijk. Video Art Therapy #1 is comprised of a video installation accompanied by sculpture which is intended to be viewed surrounded by the objects of its inspiration. The video is a collaborative effort organized by MacDonald encompassing the works of Coles, Evans, and van Eijk. Included in the video presentation is also video of The Great Giffoni (aka, David Gifford) in a performance at the Fifty Fifty Arts Collective in 2005. MacDonald explains that “the exhibition emphasizes the collaborative effort of these artists which distinguishes it from traditional movies where the director works with a team of set designers and actors, but rather each individual involved creates work without direction and for their own personal reasons.”
Video art is presented as providing therapeutic benefits to the viewer. In Video Art Therapy #1, the narrator promises to take the viewer on a meditative journey, a story about an astronaut travelling to a distant planet, illustrated by images of soothing novelty lights (lava lamps, etc.) and sculptures. MacDonald hopes that the viewer after repeated viewings will find the “dramatic effects of daily stress diminished”. MacDonald states that, “The video also has the power to go beyond relaxation to provide a form of meditation, or in psychological terms, a relaxation response, when the mind and body achieve a state of equilibrium that we can actually measure: blood pressure goes down, muscles relax, breathing slows, heart rate slows, etc.” Tor Jorgen Van Eijk’s ‘Intermissions: 1, 2, 5,6,11,12,13,42,53,54 are displayed with four monitors and compliments the other pieces giving a broader perspective of the works. Aston Coles’ “Method for viewing 104 sculpture parts in fast succession” – zoetrope enables the viewer to physically interact with it, while Scott Evans’ “Suspensions” provide a series of illuminated sculptures. Video Art Therapy runs until February 13, 2010. For more information contact the gallery at 250-740-6350.