Bernadine Fox: news and announcements
BERNADINE FOX hails from a place that is so flat you can see company coming ten miles away. She grew wiry, unruly, and fascinated by the human condition.  Ethnographic-based, Bernadine’s work weaves colours, objects, words, constructing narratives that examine the cultural issues faced by the modern world.  Seasoned with a well-lived life, her abnormal childhood, an unusual background, and a willingness to examine tough issues, she offers a fresh socio-political portrayal of our culture and an intimate entry point into the human psyche. 
Bernadine is not young and, thus, her work is aptly aged with decades of unique experiences born out of a willingness to push beyond the norms of convention.  Her work is an unflinching investigation into the human condition (good: ugly) that engages the viewer in critical discourses (sometimes private: sometimes public) on topics such as children of drug addicts, dissociative identities, and what signifies “home” while refusing to exploit all-too-easy forms of sensationalism. A graduate of Emily Carr, her work is held in private collections in NY, CA, TO, BC, and Australia. She works out of Parker Street Studios in East Vancouver, BC.

Bernadine's New

My website was outdated.  It was designed 15 years ago to provide an online portfolio for my art.  Over those fifteen years, I have added to it regularly as I produced more work and as I continued to exhibit my work.  It was time to update it.  So here is the new website.  Some of the older work is gone.  All of the newer work is there. 

In keeping with revamping my website, I have also redesigned my Blog "Bernadine's Blog" and this eBlast.  It has taken an enormous amount of time.  But I feel that the results are not only well worth it - it has streamlined access to my work.

That said,  I am an artist and not a website designer.  There are bound to be glitches which will take awhile to not only find but work through.  Wish me luck.


****     BORDERLINES         ****

BorderLines: an artistic examination into mental health diagnoses

Exhibition runs: June 14th - July 28th, 2013
Opening reception: Fri June 14th, 7 - 10pm
Mad Pride Cabaret: Sat July 13th, 7 – 10:30pm

Bernadine is very excited to have several of her Family Px: Exploring the Personalities of a Dissociative (DID) System as part of the exhibition.  Unlike exhibitions focused on abstract elite concepts or ones that explore the surface beauty of the objects and scenarios around us, this exhibition falls head first into an important question:  what is the difference between how professionals view "mental health" and how those who deal with it on a daily basis.  The difference may shock you.

Here is the writeup:
When does a behavior, mood, thought become a disorder?

BorderLines is a group art exhibition that engages with ideas concerning borders around behaviour, mood and thoughts that are defined by contemporary Western medicine. By exploring the borders of shapes, architecture and objects that evoke emotional response, each artist seeks an imaginative response to this complex topic.

Mental illness labelling can be destructive and limiting; it can also help us understand and specify certain behavioural traits, creating space for a deeper comprehension of our psychological makeup. This show addresses the boundaries and boxes that have been created by western medicine. Through their creative practices, ten diverse contemporary artists will question the fabric of these definitions, both disrupting and developing our knowledge of mental health. Working in a variety of interdisciplinary media, and under the direction of artist and curator Pierre Leichner (who was a psychiatrist for over 35 years), the artists reflected on their own experiences and perspectives regarding mental disorders diagnosis and its varied effects.

Being diagnosed as a borderline personality is often a pejorative label even in psychiatric services. It implies someone who is angry, critical, moody, and who often questions the system. So called personality disorders is one of the diagnostic categories that has drawn recent criticisms about the method of diagnosing used by contemporary Western medicine.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IV) of Mental Disorders of the American Association is a categorical classification system, which has grown in size since the 1970s. It is a categorical and rigid system of classification as opposed to a multi-dimensional, fluid one. Its use is being globalized. It is thus becoming an essential device that has the capacity to, orientate, determine, model, and insure the actions, conduct, opinions and discourse of living beings. The next DSM V book is due to be launched in 2013, as such, our proposed exhibition and the discussions it will engender, are very timely.

By applying contemporary art praxis, BorderLines will address the term “borders”, specifically where it relates to delineations within a psychological medical model. Post-modern paradigms that influence contemporary art, and the perception of art as social, interdisciplinary and issue-based, have created space for the borders between art/non-art and art/society to shift.

All of the artists have been selected for this show because of the ways in which they already think outside of normative societal boundaries. In their existing work they are challenging pre-existing assumptions around classification, with some having worked within the mental health field as caregivers and others having personal experience of this subject matter.

Persimmon Blackbridge's politics have fostered her fearless, innovative art, with her being described provocatively as, “learning-disabled - lesbian - cleaning-lady - sculptor - performer – madwoman”. Susanna Blunt is a painter and sculptor who creates new hybrid forms that defy recognition. Olga Campbell is an interdisciplinary artist whose sculptures and photographs deconstruct the border between inside and outside. Eric Deis is a large-scale photographer whose works capture the stark realism often implicit in a marginal social world. Bernadine Fox uses her mixed media paintings to invite the viewer into her personal world where she deconstructs and de-stigmatizes mental conditions. Eve Lagarde uses words in artist books to bridge poetically the coldness of clinical diagnosis with humanity. Mark Mizgala plays on notions of identity and stereotyping of personalities within a conceptual art framework. Jay Peachy is an interdisciplinary artist and mental health activist who conceptualizes with humour to heal and dispel our prejudices. Matt Sabourin re-appropriates and subverts everyday objects by injecting new meaning onto them. Linda Schmidt is a sculptor whose works invites people to be aware of fitting into predefined spaces.


Artist's Joke

Q: How many visitors to an Art Gallery does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to do it and one to say "Huh! My four-year old could've done that!"


Bernadine will be co-curating the upcoming Kickstart 5 Art Exhibit for the Society for Disability Arts & Culture at the Roundhouse (Aug-Sept 2013).  More information to come.
Mailing address:
#224, 1000 Parker St. Vancouver, BC
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