Anong Migwans Beam: 63 Views from Mount Dreamers Rock
The exhibition 63 Views from Mount Dreamers Rock celebrates the unveiling of the donation to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery of the complete suite of 63 remarkable works by Aboriginal multimedia artist, Anong Migwans Beam. The young emerging artist lives at Kagawong, Manitoulin Island. She is the daughter of renowned artists Carl Beam and Ann Beam.
Anong Beam uses collage, and photo transfer to make her paintings, drawings and prints. 63 Views from Mount Dreamers Rock is the unique outcome of her collaboration with master printmaker, Gordan Novak. In essence it is a grouping of 63 entirely unique individual ‘paintings on paper’ (each approx: 38” x 46”). This is the sole copy; there was never an intention to create editioned multiple prints. The artist commences the process by selecting certain photo-based images that are applied in numerous layers via silkscreen. The artist then re-works and overpaints this base by hand to create the finished result. Many of the screens are used numerous times as the starting point throughout the series. Thus, there develops repeated motifs that morph and change via colour selections and different combinations and juxtapositions of imagery. We witness landscape images bearing many different temperaments and temporal features, sunsets, nocturnes and daytime.
One could liken the process to a symphonic progression which establishes certain melody lines that are inventively transformed to alter mood and timbre.
At their heart, it is a series of landscapes that reflects upon the primordial spiritual power of Manitoulin Island, its lakes, waterfalls, mountains and skies. Yet, they are dreamscapes, far more invention than depiction they revel in the sheer joy of formal exploration of colour and form.She often uses bird imagery in her art and describes its relationship to her family name, Migwans, which means “feather” which is a reference to a “bird” or “eagle.” The title of the work, calligraphic brushwork and incorporation of Asian ‘seals’ make allusion to the marvelous travel suites of woodblock prints by Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige (1797–1858), notably his 36 Views of Mount Fuji and The 53 Stations of the Tokaido.
The work of Anong Beam was subject of a solo exhibition at Art Gallery of Sudbury accompanied by a catalogue with essay by Tom Smart. A video documentary: Anong Beam: Life in Painting Running Time 15:49 minutes was produced by the Ontario Secondary School system.Her works are in public collections including: Ford Foundation, New York, NY; Art Gallery of Sudbury; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM; Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, M’Chigeeng, ON; Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo, ON and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON. Her art is represented and exhibited by Neon Raven Gallery, located in M’chigeeng First Nation, in Central Manitoulin Island.
Curated by Jeffrey Spalding, and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Presented with the support of CI Institutional Asset Management (CI Investments).