Cal Lane's vision is like no other in Canadian art.

Turning everyday, hard-working objects into art, Lane elevates the potential meanings of wheelbarrows, oil cans, shovels and more. If we're to use a spade, for example, to help beautify our landscape with a garden, why shouldn't a shovel be a beautiful thing?

She turns these tools—inverting the association of an oil can with being dirty (physically and politically)—into patterned surfaces, like someone working in textiles or printmaking.

Her sculptures are made by plasma cutting, which essentially involves sending an electric charge through gas that is itself passing through a nozzle. A plasma blast is created and the operator can make intricate cuts in metal with it. Here we have the best expression of the material and ideal being combined in art. Who would've thought of taking such a refined and industrial-weight tool to the many hand-tools and the work carried out with them that we take for granted?

Cal Lane will fill Gallery Page and Strange with an installation of her work, under the banner, Crude. With the Iraq war failing, barrel prices skyrocketing, and the climate changing, this is timely and engaging stuff.

November 2-27, Gallery Page and Strange, 1869 Granville, 422-8995, www.pageandstrange.com

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