Fine Arts Professor and official Canadian War Artist, Allen Ball, presents exhibition at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

Organized around Remembrance Day Observances on November 11, 2011, the Blue Curve Gallery presents Ode of Remembrance: Art at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital by Allen Ball. This solo exhibition combines a montage of images drawn from Ball's series of works developed on a tour of duty as an official Canadian War Artist in El Gorah, Egypt. This work brings together his interests in the potential of digitally mediated imagery and poetry, incorporating the text to Laurence Binyon's Ode of Remembrance, from his poem For the Fallen. With this large-scale installation, Ball interrogates how an artist can represent the experience of modern warfare, directly engaging with the recognized challenges of documenting global conflict in our image-saturated context.

07 October 2011

Organized around Remembrance Day Observances on November 11, 2011, the Blue Curve Gallery presents Ode of Remembrance: Art at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital by Allen Ball. This solo exhibition combines a montage of images drawn from Ball's series of works developed on a tour of duty as an official Canadian War Artist in El Gorah, Egypt. This work brings together his interests in the potential of digitally mediated imagery and poetry, incorporating the text to Laurence Binyon's Ode of Remembrance, from his poem For the Fallen. With this large-scale installation, Ball interrogates how an artist can represent the experience of modern warfare, directly engaging with the recognized challenges of documenting global conflict in our image-saturated context.

Compelled to gain a deeper understanding of Canada's global commitments by directly experiencing Canadians at war, Ball accepted a volunteer post in the Canadian Forces Artist Program, funded by Canada Forces, Directorate of History and Heritage, December 2005.

This resulted in his tour of duty under the auspices of Operation CALUMET in June 2007, at the Multinational Force and Observers North Camp, El Gorah, northern Sinai. The operation's mission is to police adherence to the historic Camp David Accord between Egypt and Israel. Ball's mission, as an official Canadian War Artist, was to witness and document the daily lives of Canadians serving at the base.

Patients at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital include injured soldiers returning from active duty on overseas Canadian Forces missions. Since Canadian Forces are involved in a number of dangerous missions around the globe, unfortunately, many of its military personnel spend extended periods healing within this critical care facility.

It is therefore critical to show this work at this site and at this time, as the hospital seeks to ease the suffering of its military patients and their families and friends. This exhibition attempts to honor the great service that these individuals have performed for their country, and recognize the sacrifices they have made on behalf of all Canadians. Simultaneously, this exhibition recognizes the unheralded work Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital performs in this area, as the staff, visitors and patients are acutely aware of the healing and transformative power of art and embrace its inclusion within their therapeutic practices.

This exhibition was supported by the Emil Skarin Fund through the University Senate at the University of Alberta and the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Arts in Rehab Council.