Past Show

David Griffin: Music of Surfaces

April 5 – 16, 2023

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, April 6, 2023  –  6 to 8 pm

Join us IN-PERSON for the Opening Reception at the Leslie Grove Gallery.

See the show, meet the artist, bring a friend!

COVID-19 Protocols: following provincial and city guidelines


When I draw, I get to hold in my hands things that are otherwise beyond me: geometries of growth, or bridges between nerves, or chaotic patterns of fire and the Sun. In this exhibition, for example, I drew the Aurora Borealis. I thought: “The sun gives us colour in partnership with our twig-like neurology. As its light skips across our damp, scruffy surfaces, we see the Aurora expressing wild hues at the world’s edge.” A music of surfaces.
Among the classical elements of earth, air, fire and water, fire is flux, cracking and hissing. All the other elements feed its ruffling performance: a music of surfaces. If I write “The sky is a calendar,” something is captured about our compulsive reconstruction of that great mystery-display, inscribing its rolling spaces onto silent leaves of a book. The sky is a calendar only when we draw it,. My crayon moves to the clouds, spinning across surfaces. The feedback is elastic, and I am changed. The sky is now legible: a music of surfaces.

I can draw this thought: the Moon is a whisper, it is passage. But the Sun is friction, a consonant, its geometry orienting everything. Our world (peppered with carbon) is shielded from the sun’s friction by a weird magnetic hood, an inscrutable screen that interferes just enough so we have breath to speak, and durations to our lives. The whole cycle looks like the astounding Oarfish as it cruises through a murmuration of sprats. A music of surfaces.

Clouds slip through eddies in the sky. The friction generated by heat and vapour erupts in electric marks. Lightning is friction and fuel for living things, stirring up the passage of a carbon atom (for one important example) through space and time. Carbon is the key element of living substances, a bit of black that richly informs our universe. Carbon is the skin of our skins, the purple in my veins, the graphite in my pencil. It is necessary to make meaning. This is the music of surfaces.

Featured Artist: David Griffin