Last summer I spent an afternoon walking an area of Ottawa where my husband grew up. As we sipped coffee, he told me stories about each spot on our tour: funny stories, touching stories, sad stories.
Last weekend I spent some time roaming the childhood streets of artist Kevin Lewis. In his exhibition, Mean Dog Street, at Parentheses Gallery in Halifax, Lewis takes viewers into his childhood world of crushes, idolization, rumour, and myth.
Lewis’s personal history is showcased in a collection of multi media artwork. Every piece in the show is thoughtful: A memory of one neighbourhood family of seven kids sharing one bike was showcased in a brilliant moveable puzzle; The fort in the woods recreated with a comic book style painting and a wooden crate with a peephole revealing a painting of a Playboy cover. Every planned piece in the show is numbered and corresponds to a central painting of The Neighbourhood itself.
“Ross would swallow anything…”
“Mister Fraser, the minister, was Ruth and Bruce’s dad.”
“Greg, our paper boy, was my brother Scott’s hero…”
I loved the accessibility of this show. We can all relate to that very real connection between place and memory. And to the stories of our childhoods.
Thank you to Kevin Lewis who gave my kids cookies as well as my man and I a personal walk through the show. While this show closed on Saturday, there is an on-line Flickr showcase of this exhibition and a book available for purchase through Parentheses Gallery.