Visceral Allegories by Doug Biden

The Nanaimo Art Gallery, VIU campus location, 900 Fifth Street, is hosting a traveling exhibition from the Burnaby Art Gallery titled Visceral Allegories: A Retrospective of the Work of Doug Biden from February 19 to April 20, 2010.

Biden was a master printmaker who exhibited his art nationally and internationally. This exhibit represents 77 lithographs, etchings, and mixed-media works on paper created from 1989 right through to 2006, the year before his death. He graduated from the Vancouver School of Art with honours in the late 70’s. As a technical assistant and instructor to the VSA’s Outreach program he coordinated mobile printmaking workshops throughout British Columbia allowing him to work with First Nations communities.

These experiences led to an awareness and respect for their connections to the land, spirit world, values, and customs. Throughout his career Biden’s political convictions, interest in nature, and his humanity are evident in his works. In 2000 he created Woman’s Body Found in Garbage Dump, a lithograph and embossing on paper which focuses on violent incidents against women from the headlines of local newspapers. This piece is a testament to the tragic results of these incidents.

Burnaby Art Gallery curator, Darrin J. Martens describes Biden’s works best as “Biden felt that in a civilized society, people should be aware of social issues that affect humanity; they should acknowledge those issues and react to them. Believing that his art work could be used as tool, Biden sought to engage people and to prompt them into dialogue with one another.” Martens memorializes Biden’s work as “His legacy to the art community which he embraced so dearly, is one of commitment, engagement and humility.”

The opening reception for this multilayered exhibition focusing on the human condition is on Friday, February 19, 2010, from 5 to 7 pm. For more information call 250-740-6350.