Entering the foyer of Oshawa’s Robert McLaughlin Gallery, you are greeted by a hulking, metallic wolf whose hinged jaws seem to guard an ancient knowledge that will unfold to you only when the time is right. The time, it appears, is now.
To the far right, the show: chimeric creations that no one but Georgie Lishman could possibly conceive of, luring viewers into his world of simple beauty and complex truths.
Rotating counter-clockwise, the viewer first comes eye to eye with Winged Sphinx, its metal muscles straining against its gears as participants wind a giant crank to keep its flickering heart alight. It is a mythical creature, rooted in cultural symbolism and proof that magic does indeed exist.
The larger-than-(this) life pieces are awe-inspiring at the very least, breathtaking and thought-provoking in their stature and subject matter.
Take True Power, for example: a prodigious emphasis of the motion of energy that also acts as its own figure studies, casting shadows that appear as charcoal renderings on the wall.
The favourite, however, was The Universe Machine. Look through the primeval forest and step on the foot pedal to become the observer of an intimate ritual, a frenzied dance around the sacred fire celebrating the rotation of the planets, the changing of the seasons, the very existence of the earth itself.
Spend an afternoon in Lishman’s universe. Prepare to leave a different person.
Hidden Worlds runs from July 9 to September 4 The Robert McLaughlin Gallery 72 Queen Street, Civic Centre Oshawa, ON L1H 3Z3 (905) 576-3000 www.rmg.on.ca
Hours: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.Photos courtesy of Geordie Lishman