RAGE HOPE addresses the theme of mental wellness and features the work of Edmonton artist Richard Boulet. Mounted in conjunction with SPARK Disability Arts Festival, Boulet’s artworks feature highly crafted textiles, text-based art, drawings and artist books. These range from large‐scale wall hangings, to intimate cross-stitch and collaborative book‐works, spanning almost thirty years.
RAGE HOPE is the most comprehensive chronology of Boulet’s work exhibited to date, incorporating early mixed media works emanating from a period of psychosis pre-dating his diagnosis with Schizophrenia. Mid-career textile wall hangings impart intricate processes reflecting a journey toward a new normalcy: encounters with addiction and homelessness reveal a profound sense of self-awareness. Recent works include a return to drawing and a series of artist books, followed with new textile and cross‐stitch hangings: an embrace of collaboration and community, along with a compelling sense of humanism indicate a powerful commitment to mental wellness. An illustrated catalogue with a curatorial essay, an artist talk and several public programs help to contextualize Boulet’s artwork in the fields of disability arts, social practice, cripping and contemporary art.
Dick Averns is an artist and writer teaching studio art, art history, and theory at the University of Calgary. He is well known for his critical writing, sculpture, and performance work. RAGE HOPE is his first solo curatorial project.
Image: ‘Richard Boulet — RAGE HOPE,’ installation view with the artist. Dave Brown, LCR Photoservices, University of Calgary.