SEAN CLAULFIELD: THE FLOOD
Art Gallery of Alberta
47 pp 16 col. ill. 9.5 x 7 in softcover
$15.00 Can. $17.00 U.S.
Caulfield’s two-story-high site-specific installation is composed of 48 hand carved maple panels fashioned into a six-by-nine meter wall. Typically utilized in the printmaking process, the relief work of the woodblock panels is presented as an artwork in itself. Two symbolic structures form the central images: a house and a wood-burning machine. From the machine, a giant column of smoke snakes upward, turns to the house, and rains down fire; water rises everywhere. The images resonate in oil-producing Alberta with its ravaged lands and urban floods and reflect the artist’s own life: born into a family of oil-workers and with extended family living near Japan’s Fukushima disaster. The work’s universal message is evoked by its mythical title, and echoes of Hieronymus Bosch are not fortuitous. Merging anxiety with hope, the piece evokes the apocalyptic crisis facing the world's ecosystem. Sean Caulfield has exhibited his prints, drawings and book works extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. This is the first publication dedicated to his work. Sky Goodden is the founding editor of Momus, an international online art publication. She was the founding editor of Blouin Artinfo Canada and writes regularly for Canadian art reviews.