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Christian Bernard Singer

Dervish, 2020 (from the “Portent” series)

Pine needles and mixed media on wood

18” x 18” x 5”

$5,000 CDN (Please inquire for shipping)

Dervish is part of a larger series entitled "Portent," inspired by increasingly dangerous weather phenomena as water temperatures rise due to Climate Change. Here, Singer’s work turns on Climate Change issues and is inspired by graphics generated through numerical models of satellite remote sensor technologies, saying: “Much of our understanding of weather patterns and events comes from news sources, emitted from television screens and smart devices and often distancing us from the actual events and their causes.”

In Dervish, Singer interprets a screenshot taken on April 20, 2021 of the graphics of Typhoon Surigae, through the means of visualizations of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers and updated every three hours. Typhoon Surigae, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Bising, was the strongest Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone to form before the month of May, one of the most intense tropical cyclones on record, and the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide in 2021. In 2023 however, something seems to have changed. For the first time on record, every tropical ocean basin around the world has produced a tropical system with the equivalent strength of a Category 5 storm, sometimes happening simultaneously – also a first.

In the two-person exhibition catalogue for "On the Eight Day" (with Julie Oakes) at the Lake Country Art Gallery, Curator Wanda Lock wrote: "Christian Bernard Singer gives us a story-board - snippets of the natural world, co-existing, smaller works filling the surrounding space visually but also with a whisper of weather, wind, nature, light, and colour. The outside brought inside." Ashley Johnson also writes in the catalogue: "Variations in the arrangement of needles evoke ideas of natural events like storms, winds and ripples. It is a way of abstracting nature and making powerful forces visible. Thus the red “Dervish' evokes a tornado, with its crescendo of power ripping at the natural world. Singer's manner of interacting with his chosen medium is almost biblical, reverentially kneeling in forests to select his needles. These are carefully assembled with rapt attention given to the personality of each needle. This intellectual introspection is finally expressed in emotional form as an idea. What was once detritus to be mulched into food for the forest has been born again into mental sustenance.”

In the exhibition catalogue for Pins and Needles at the Headbones Gallery, artist Julie Oakes writes: "Nature outperforms man with her reputation for detailing, quantity and specificity. She displays her work at every turn of the path and it is there to be understood if the constant pull of distracting modernity was not also there to hinder perception. In nature, the individuality and uniqueness of each part is reinforced innumerably- each pine tree loaded with needles that do not remain static but are responsive to the changes of time and environment. It is such an overwhelming concept that it is too often taken for granted and passed by in naive security that nature's wonders will not disappear even if we fail to recognize her miraculous show of diversity. In nature, the pine beetle also changes the colour of the forest and when the rusty red dominates, it is a dire sign that the forest is dying. Yet in Christian Bernard Singer's latest pieces it is as if the forest clears and rejuvenates with the potential to grow once again. Singer has brought about a transformation with a heightened poignancy that is in tune with the finest aspect of man – his awareness of the 'other.' Singer's acknowledgment of simple pine needles, a tattered blanket upon the forest floor, enhances awareness. The re-alignment of his material (forest's shedding) matches the wonder of the natural world and then tops it up. The origin remains intact yet each needle is given a specific place and then dressed in a resonant primal tint. In Singer's work a stronger translation as ART begins cycles anew."

Exhibited at Quest Art Gallery (Midland, ON), 2022; and Lake Country Art Gallery (Lake Country, B.C.), 2020. Documented in both exhibition catalogues.

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