Front & Centre
has long been a sense of serendipity to the content of the Jaywalker. Three
examples immediately come to mind: our chance discovery of the Smith sisters (Amanda
and Stefanie) at the Women's
Art Festival; our lucky find of Wayne Westfall's
self portrait at the Wellington Boutique; and more recently, our bumping into of
Debbie Doogan's work at the Kingston
School of Art.
It all began as we came in for a
visit with Erik Fraser, who teaches at the school with Debbie. We'd come in to
discuss capturing some images for use in the near future. Near a doorway hung a
piece by Debbie, part of an instructor's exhibit currently showing at the
school. "Dream Net" (centre) seemed to leap from the wall with
its depiction of fur, fun and family. Its title was uncannily appropriate for
Jaywalker's theme this month - Dreams.
painting does not a Front & Centre make.
So we needed to see much more of her work. A distance away, a coy wallflower
stared back at us. Actually, it seemed that no matter where we stood, "No
Boys Allowed" (above, with colour detail, front cover) was impossible
to miss. We had our perfect cover.
There's a real sense of democracy
to Debbie's work. The subjects are each given prominence, as are the textures
and colours. This reflects the artist nicely. In person, Debbie divides herself
just as evenly. When we came by to take the first photos, we inadvertently
interrupted her class. She quickly accommodated us without neglecting her class,
taking time to carefully remove "Veils of Isis" from its frame
for us to photograph.
In the end, after many pitfalls and pratfalls, we had the images you now see in Front and Centre. As we looked back at the process, we realized that the detail in Debbie Doogan's work reveals one more aspect of the artist herself - her patience. Often the artist treats their artwork differently than they do the people around them; for Debbie, perhaps, they are one and the same.
Back to January 2004 Jaywalker
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