‘Connection and Response’ exhibition by Bruce Cull
July 28 - September 11, 2022
Northern Ontario artist Bruce Cull draws from the impact of the last two years, during which time his long-held belief was reinforced: that the most important aspects of our lives is our sense of connection. As Cull explains, we begin our lives connecting to our parent, our siblings and gradually extending those relationships outward to a greater world of friends, co-workers and others whom we encounter on this journey. Most of all, we reach for mutually nourishing intimacy in partner relationship and this connection of love brings us hope and strength.
‘Connection and Response’ reminds us that we are participants in and a part of the physical world we inhabit. Over time, we have lost that sense of connection, have all too often let ourselves be severed from a world of which we are a part. Bruce Cull’s work expresses his fear of lost connection with each other, with our environment and a hope that we will rediscover old, new and better forms of connection.
Meet Bruce Cull
Bruce Cull is profoundly connected to the environment and to his historical roots. Raised in a small community in Northern Ontario, he pursued his studies at the Ontario College of Art and the University of Calgary. Returning to Northern Ontario to raise his family of four children and to develop his art, he has continued to grow as an artist and as a bilingual teacher at workshops both in his community and wherever his work was on exhibition. He participated in the Ontario Art Council Artist in the Schools programme and for a period of time was the curator/director of the Temiskaming Art Gallery. Bruce has always maintained a vibrant and vital art career, exhibiting in many galleries.
Cull’s exhibition history demonstrates that he has won many awards and participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Ontario, Alberta, and New York. Nature and the environment inspire and nourish his work. Most recently, his works explore our loss of connection in a rapidly changing, technologically isolating world. Bruce’s compelling pieces of art are a passionate and creative expression of our deep connection and relationship to our environment and consequently to one another.
Bruce currently lives on a 200 acre former dairy farm near Earlton, Ontario. His working studio was once a granary for cattle. Many of the objects incorporated into his works have been salvaged from the land as he works at developing trails to criss-cross the property. His stewardship of the land speaks directly to his connection with it.
About Bruce’s Practice
I have lived in rural North East Ontario since 1978 and have combined a professional art career with being a stay-at-home father to 4 children. I have always lived on rural properties and this has nourished my lifetime environmental awareness and consequently, the evolution of my work. My work is a direct response to my sense of connection to the land and my connection to the more distant events of global politics and climate change. In the process of approaching my work, I am constantly questioning the “what”, the “how”, and the “why” of my experiences and observations as I seek to understand and place them in my life. I am thoughtful about the interface of technologies with the environment and with our social relationships. I see the huge machinery that is used to work the agricultural farms and forestry industries around me and I think about the connections of rural to urban, of farm of food production, of energy consumption and of our reliance on the rhythms of nature. I live in a geographically isolated space and yet I feel less isolated than many people in crowded urban environments. I strive to maintain a sense of wonder and optimism despite the occasional bleak moments in our physical and social environments. I hope that in viewing my work, audiences will engage in a dialogue with it, finding meaning and connections to their own lives.
This exhibition has been curated by Annette Hansen, thanks to support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation Community Building Fund. This funding has been instrumental in supporting the Art Centre’s emergence from the pandemic, deepen the curation of exhibitions, and supporting virtual outreach programs for students with (dis)Abilities.