Front & Centre
Time Travel with
By the Jaywalker Gadabout
Strap on your helmets and prepare yourself for a trip
through time, as the Jaywalker Gadabout introduces you to
multidisciplined Kingston artist Erik Fraser…
I followed Erik’s speeding red van with insufficient haste to his house, where he led me to a large homemade trebuchet in the back yard. We fired off from there, with me racing to keep the pace, to a small marina where a near-finished scale model of an ancient warship sat high on blocks. Then finally we dashed to a photo studio in the old township where a full size triptych featuring a scene from the crusades towered over the modern camera gear. I once thought I was driving fast when I delivered pizzas. I think this no more. Erik was driving at speeds that altered time itself.
Erik Fraser is a time traveller. And perhaps you should fasten your seatbelts, because you’re now along for the ride.
Our first stop places us in the Renaissance times; to Leonardo da Vinci. Erik’s workspace is lined with sketches and drawings of works in progress – drafts for paintings and working props for a full-length film. It seems these drafts inevitably become real-life objects, with many completed pieces sitting on shelves or hanging from hooks all around you.
After your visit to the Renaissance, you are moved slightly forward to the days of the Old Masters. Many of Erik’s pieces have an allegorical composition that brings to mind some of the outstanding works donated to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre by philanthropist Alfred Bader. With Erik’s intense study and application of Old Master techniques, perhaps we might dub him “Kingston’s Young Master”.
A Young Master who can be found travelling on a trusty skateboard, that is. And if you think that’s anachronistic, have a look at the painting “I Had To – It Was Getting Dark”. Here, our trip through time has us visiting a Roman arson roasting marshmallows while the city burns. Nero, eat your heart out!
Now we jump into the near future. We need no crystal ball – it is already written. Erik has drawn out the storyboards for a film called Blackernae: A Memoir of the Fourth Crusade, which he plans to begin filming within a year. So many aspects have been assembled that I couldn’t help but get excited about seeing the final product. I now understand why Erik drives fast enough to warp time.
In all, my visit with Erik had taught me that the Jaywalker Gadabout had best keep up with this guy. And so should Kingston’s actors, camera crews and sound people. Maybe we’ll find him racing around after materials or rolling by on a skateboard. Maybe we’ll spot an old master painting, which, on second glance reveals a station wagon among ancient pillars. Wherever we find him, we can count on experiencing a trip through time.
For those who’ve followed the Jaywalker, you may recall our first mention
of Erik in January’s issue when we featured Debbie Doogan, his fellow
teacher at the Kingston School of Art. We’re happy to note that both Erik and
Debbie were nominated for an Award of Excellence in the Arts in the
Kingston Art Council’s new annual presentations, with their first
awards gala coming up on June 4th (for more info, see back cover).
For information about purchasing prints of Erik’s
paintings, call Jaywalker at 549-4446.
Visit Erik Fraser's website at http://blackernae.com/
Back to May 2004 Jaywalker
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