Shane Golby: Signs of Desire

Shane Golby

Shane Golby – Signs of Desire

6–28 November in the ProjEx Room

Opening Reception: Friday 6 November, 8:00 PM

Illicit Illustrations

Word & Image Workshop with the artist
Saturday November 28th 2009, 1:00 PM

In association with Exposure: Edmonton's Queer Arts and Culture Festival

Word and Image have a long and complex history. In the early 20th century, as expressed in the collage art works of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Dada artists such as Kurt Schwitters, these two strands of creativity became intimately linked, providing these and many other artists a means to produce works of profound personal and socio/political meaning.

In an afternoon writing/collage workshop led by Shane Golby and inspired by the exhibition Signs of Desire: Becoming Queer in Word and Image follow in the footsteps of Picasso and others while making connections between text and visual imagery. Cut loose of convention and expose your inner demons and desires as you experiment with written or found text and found images, creating exciting new combinations which express the “real you”.

There will be a $10 materials fee for participation in this workshop.

For more information and to register, email April Dean at or call the gallery at 780 423 5353.

Signs of Desire

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?

—Five Man Electrical Band, 1970

The signs were there for all to see but, when I was young, it wasn’t the time and certainly not the place to acknowledge them. Instead, I was directed along other paths and being young, afraid, and having no one to guide me, I buried the true symbols of who I was beneath layers of rules and regulations. For over half my life I tried to walk where others would have me go…

…but ultimately, and thankfully, I failed.

Maybe it was a result of experience; maybe I just found myself in the right place at the right time. Whatever the reasons, I finally determined to set off on the road I was always meant to travel. Still, however, I had no real signs to follow…

…so I decided to create my own.

Signs of Desire appropriates signs – both the actual physical objects and photographic images – and reconstructs them to reflect upon some of the events, ideas and secret desires which have informed the person I am at this moment in time. The art works presented reflect upon beauty, desire, love, politics, religion, and art itself in an attempt to both recognize and mark my own territory within the urban environment.

Little Liberties

My art practice is primarily autobiographical in nature. Either symbolically or literally, and whether producing a still-life drawing, a landscape painting, or a mixed-media collage work, art-making has allowed me to explore the physical, psychological, and emotional places I have found myself.

Over the past six years my work has focused on societal perceptions of homosexuality and my life as a gay male. I admitted who I was quite late and was disturbed to discover that, in the eyes of many people, I was suddenly ‘less than equal’ solely because of my sexuality. This, combined with the hypocrisy and viciousness expressed during Canada’s Gay Marriage Debate, especially in Alberta, inspired me to give ‘visual voice’ to my feelings. In 2005, experimenting with mixed-media collage techniques, I created a body of work related to the Gay Marriage issue and homosexuality in general. This work was featured in an exhibition entitled Little Men, presented at Harcourt House Arts Centre, Edmonton, in May-June of 2007.

Since 2007 I have continued to investigate male homosexuality as inspiration for my art production. Utilizing digital photography, appropriated imagery, paper collage and gel transfers, I combine text and image to create intimate and layered two-dimensional works which record the shifting place of the homosexual in western society and my own journey as a gay male.

Shane Golby

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